The Department of Fine Arts at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, in cooperation with the initiative Are, has prepared a series of events that aim to start a cooperation between the cultural scenes in Prague and Athens.
During the month of March, thirteen events will take place in the forms of lectures, discussions, workshops, exhibitions and artist presentations. These events will introduce twelve representatives from the Athens art scene - artists, curators and art theorists - Iliana Fokiniaki, Anne Davidian and Matthieu Prat, Nikos Arvanitis, Veronica Malagon, Marios Pavlou, Nadja Argyropoulou, Anja Kirschner, Alexios Papazacharias, Paky Vlassopoulou, Chrysanthi Koumianaki and Kosmas Nikolaou. The selection of topics stems from the present situation in Greece, which reflects the development of the inner and European political and immigration crisis. New forms of dealing with the practice of art are emerging on the Greek scene, as well as new forms of communities and social structures. Certain artists, gallerists and curators are leaving the cultural centers of Europe and coming to Athens, in search of more challenging conditions for life and work than what is present in commercialized and over-bureaucratic metropolises.
The project Athens Partahhiana is not only oriented in Prague, but will move to Athens from mid April till the end of May 2016, where selected students will have a possibility to stay there for a residency. These residencies do not aim to produce new exhibitions or presentations, but instead should serve as a point of connection between both scenes, exchange of topics, and search for new means of collaboration. Concurrently, there is a planned workshop with the initiative Kassandras, which connects interests in contemporary architecture, fine arts and design. The following events will be conceived during the process of interaction with the scene in Athens with it’s own specific dynamics.
“There are many reasons why we selected specifically the Athens art scene - the problem of migration, existence at the edge of Europe, the post-colonialism of art practice in the EU, attempts to create new economical models, new forms of cultural institutions and public life, the relation between activism and art, working outside of the monetary system, the presence of documenta 14, and Athens Biennial…” explained Edith Jeřábková, head of the sculpture studio at UMPRUM and Are initiator.
The first example of cooperation is the aforementioned workshop with Kassandras, a hydrid space and an experimentation ground for contemporary practices, including arts, architecture and design. The workshop will be hosted by Kassandras founders, curator Anne Davidian (Praxis Matters), and Matthieu Prat (Diplomates Studio). The first part will take place on March 7th and 10th in the Sculpture Studio at UMPRUM. The second part will be in the un-finished building of Kassandras in Athens, which offers a productive playground to focus on praxis and a method of working that binds thinking and making into one movement.
These lectures and discussions are open not just for students of UMPRUM, but also free of entry and for the general public and anyone interested.
Organized by UMPRUM in Prague and Are as part of the project Athens Partahhiana with support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Czech Republic, the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic, Prague City Hall, the French Institute and the Goethe-Institut in Prague. Special thanks to The Emblem Hotel.