PRAGUE PRIDE: EAST SIDE STORY

Artists: Baptist Coelho, Steven Cohen, Jamie Crewe, Wojtek Doroszuk, Zackary Drucker , Goldiechiari, Igor Grubic, Zanele Muholi, Eugenio Percossi, Karol Radziszewski , Aurora Reinhard, Slava Mogutin & Brian Kenny a.k.a. SUPERM, Mark Ther


Curators: Michal Novotný, Serena Fanara, Giulia Gueci

 

From 14/08/2014 to 07/09/2014

 

In the stoic conception of the universe, which was largely adopted by Platonic philosophy and Christianity, universe as a whole is perfect. Evil and discord is caused solely by the imperfections of its parts caused - by their partiality. In Czech language we use till nowadays the idiom - “it is one" similar to English - "it doesn't matter".

This sentence used by scholastic scholars at the end of long and unavailing debate meant the fact that God and universe is only one and therefore undoubtedly has to be in mutual agreement.

This consistency was in antiquity expressed by Greek word SYMPATHEIA. Its first definition in the ancient Greek dictionary is “to look at each other with mutual fondness”. But you are mistaken if you think that it has anything to do with boys and girls, it was more about affection and consequent sexual relationship between the male pupil and his older male teacher, used to say our university teacher of ancient philosophy.

Several years later in Salzburg it was explained to me by one Russian curator that the term queer nowadays doesn't mean anymore, what we used to call the homosexual orientation, but rather the freedom of choice, which one of the spectrum of choices I choose for myself and which partner I choose for its realisation.

Unlike Plato I believe that world isn't imperfect image of the perfect ideas existing independently of it, but rather chaos we are trying to deal with, using our terms and definitions, to make it be a little more in order. Stereotypes are therefore undoubtedly important, however the way we perceive ourselves through them is probably more interesting then how stereotypes shape our perception of others.

The exhibition East Side Story is full of stereotypes and clichés. Already its title refers simultaneously to the famous musical, less successful gay comedy, unclear geographical position of Prague (in relation to the former West), and mainly the video of Igor Grubic, one of the most important works of art presented in this exhibition. Visitors will therefore perhaps see, what they might have already easily imagined before entering the exhibition space: sex, violence and blood, muscled bodies, rainbow colours, femininity of men and masculinity of women, testimonies about tragic life stories of the oppressed as much as suggestive lyrical auto-portraits. It is however important to mention, that we did consciously manipulate some of the exhibited works and shape their reading through the exhibition topic which they had originally nothing to do with. With other works we may at least ask ourselves whether their perception would be similar for example in the frame of exhibition dealing with the topic of art and cabaret.

Something as LGBT, homosexual, gay or lesbian art for sure doesn't exist. As much as there is no such thing as Czech art. At least until we create certain definition to apply on the original diversity.

In the Socratic point of view aim of a philosopher is to stand in a position against the opinion of a majority. Although this doesn't specifically mean standing for a position, which would be clearly articulated - it is rather attitude of disturbing the established stereotypes and conceptions at the moment prevailing. We therefore ask you visitors, to think about stereotypes and the feedbacks they create and use stereotypes in the best way against the very them and this being not only in the frame of this exhibition but mainly after you will leave it.

It is one.


Igor Grubic / East Side Story, 2006
Igor Grubic / East Side Story, 2006
Double channel video 14’00”
Mark Ther / Gerundther, 2004
Mark Ther / Gerundther, 2004
Video, 3’21’’
Installation view
Installation view