As is tradition, the new international jury nominated five visual artists from the Czech arts scene under the age of 35 for the final round of this year’s Jindřich Chalupecký Award. These are Alžběta Bačíková, Lukáš Hofmann, Tomáš Kajánek, Kateřina Olivová and Adéla Součková. “Each of the nominees has attained their own unique aesthetic stance, which they insert into the various fissures of our increasingly uniform society and so provoke its devouring power,” reads the joint statement of a panel of jurors who first met in this constellation last November. The joint exhibition of the finalists’ and foreign guest’s work will take place from 13 November, the laureate will, as usual, be announced during the final ceremony scheduled for 17 December 2018.
The artists selected by the jury combine a variety of media in their work – painting, photography, video and performance. By their means, they probe current social phenomena such as the internet, the media industry or the individual’s solitude in society.
The work of Alžběta Bačíková centers on reflection about documentary forms in contemporary art. She uses the medium of film to explore the boundary possibilities of objectivity and impartiality in the documentary genre. Her work shows a clear interest in current social issues, dealing with the influence of technology, digitalisation, and the problems of representation and self-experience. Performances and so-called ‘social sculptures’ authored by Lukáš Hofmann a.k.a. Saliva speak the contemporary jargon of the fashion and creative industries. His staged situations involve communities of actors who move in specific environments according to a predefined plan and give voice to a range of emotions familiar to the individual living in today’s impersonal society: numbness, disappointment, but also hope. Drawing upon photography, video and performance, Tomáš Kajánek often balances on the edge of exposure to physical danger. He underscores the concrete problems of contemporary society – the relationship of majority to minority and the dangers posed by new technologies. His work is often inspired by YouTube and various other forms of creative content sharing. For finalist Kateřina Olivová, the central themes are womanhood, feminism, sexuality, motherhood, interpersonal relationships and emotion. Her primary medium is her own (naked) body – hovering on the edge of kitsch and deliberate awkwardness, she encroaches upon ingrained social taboos. The principal means of expression for Adéla Součková are drawing and painting, but her work also incorporates performance, object installation and video. Thematically, her work draws on the conflict of nature and culture, on various mythologies and archetypes, but also on current discussions about ecology and feminism.
Following the previous year in Brno, the 2018 final exhibition for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award once again takes place in the Trade Fair Palace of the National Gallery Prague. The exhibition will be held at the KORZO venue and in spaces adjoining it. The finalists for this year’s Jindřich Chalupecký Award were selected by an international jury consisting of: Zdenka Badovinac, curator, Director of the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Vjera Borozan, Director of Project Artyčok, Czech Republic; Lenka Klodová, artist, Head of the Studio of Body Design at FaVU VUT in Brno, Czech Republic; Marek Pokorný, art critic, curator and Artistic Manager of PLATO Gallery in Ostrava, Czech Republic; Laurel Ptak, curator and Executive Director of Art in General, New York, USA; and Vasif Kortun, curator, Director of Research and Programs at SALT Gallery in Istanbul (2011–2017), Turkey.