17th June–31st August 2023
Litomyšl plein air
opening ceremony | 17th June 2023 at 16:00 (behind the Church of the Rising of the Holy Cross)
guided tours | 24th August 2023 at 17:30 (behind the Church of the Rising of the Holy Cross)
curators | Lenka Lindaurová, Martina Zuzaňáková
promoted by | Bohemian Heritage Fund and the Litomyšl Municipal Gallery
The theme of this year’s Smetana’s Litomyšl music festival has become the Belle Époque, the so called beautiful times that marked the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. These were times of great industrial and economic progress, the future seemed bright and promising. Today we look to the future with many concerns and some fundamental questions.
It is the artists, and the visions and sensibilities with which they interpret the world, that can bring us messages that are not simple but instigating. They initiate thinking, action, attitude and creativity. The authors participating in the fourth edition of the Plan B exhibition reflect on the current urban situation, on the needs and problems of the residents, and on environmental and social issues.
Exhibiting artists: Daniela Baráčková, Nikola Brabcová, Karin Šrubařová, Michal Cimala, Jakub Jahn, Stano Masár, Tomáš Moravec, Natalie Perkof, Pavla Sceranková, Dušan Zahoranský and Jan Svoboda.
Bricked Up Eyes
Daniela Baráčková (1981) completed her art studies at UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague) at the studio of conceptual and intermedia creation. She established herself on the art scene mainly through her videos featuring the theme of everyday human problems in an ironic tone. In 2013, she was among the finalists of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. With her husband, Jakub Filip Novák, she also participates in work on architectural interior designs carried out by the No Architects studio, which has won significant awards. However, she continues with her freelance work, and for the Litomyšl Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross created a site-specific installation, Bricked Up Eyes, which enlivens the monument of the church itself, a massive spiritual body that helps society with the process of soul-searching.
Nikola Brabcová, Karin Šrubařová
River Loučná Biotope
After graduating from art schools, Nikola Brabcová (1987) and Karin Šrubařová (1984) decided to direct their energies towards art, teaching, and activism in the field of ecology. They have been working in an artistic tandem for some time. They created their own platform entitled A Prototype platform for artistic, curatorial, residential, and pedagogical collaboration. Both artists experiment with new media and often work collectively on ecologically oriented projects, including collaboration with spectators. One area of their projects is the survey of specific locations and local problems, recorded outputs, printed media, and tours for the public. In Litomyšl, they focused on researching the River Loučná and its significance for the city. A printed zine is published for the project, available for free at the Knight's House, Municipal Gallery Litomyšl.
Michal Cimala (1975) is a graduate of UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague) and his work is wide-ranging - from paintings through to sculptural work to design, jewelry and music production. His artistic visions take their cues from apocalyptic scenes, memories of the future, and presently they also address real global threats. Nevertheless, elements of play, hyperbole and humor are evident in his work. He is the co-founder of the legendary Prague studio Trafačka. For Plan B 2023, from various discarded materials, he specifically completed a monumental metal figure resembling a Golem, which can emit musical sounds. Inserting a “shem” (according to legend, a kind of token) is not recommended.
Jakub Jahn (1982) is a film director who studied theatre science and works on multidisciplinary projects somewhere between film, visual arts and social research. The artist's goal is to engage the general public and offer them roles in cooperative events, from which they will emerge encouraged and positively motivated to solve common human situations creatively. He is the initiator of the collective artwork entitled Česká vděčnost (Czech Gratitude), the aim of which is to create the largest collection of letters of gratitude in the Czech Republic. Another of his conceptual projects is the Heartbeat project, which is a universal greeting for the whole world from the point of view of art. In Litomyšl, he invited all inhabitants to meet together and have their photo taken as a group using a drone.
Stano Masár (1971) is a Slovak conceptual artist who studied at Thames Valley University in London. His work takes as its theme human activities in their entirety, through which we appropriate the world – that is why Masár's works are easily interpreted around the world and bring viewers who feel estranged together – as in Global History of Art, a collection of simple pictograms representing legendary works of art through primitive symbols. The Raining Tree project had been in the artist's archive, waiting to be implemented. The artwork simulates an artificially real situation when trees rain once more after the rain itself. This "here and now" rain, which has no connection with reality, can instil a sense of environmental nostalgia within the viewer.
After completing his sculpting education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Tomáš Moravec (1985) devoted himself to art, but also to interior architecture in the installation of exhibitions. As a conceptual artist, he likes to intervene in public spaces in the form of subtle deviations in order to invoke improbable situations and change the point of view of spectators. He worked with augmented reality during last year's Czech Republic cultural events in Brussels and updated it to suit Litomyšl. Lettering floating in the air above an empty building plot are visible only with the help of a mobile application and are intended to motivate the inhabitants of the city to think about the possibilities of solving urban spaces.
Rooting Station for Those Who Fly with the Clouds
Natalie Perkof (1979) graduated from FaVU (Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Technology) in Brno, were she lives and works. In her artwork, she deals with her own life within the context of society and examines established stereotypes of human behaviour. Originally from Ghana, she has been living in the Czech Republic for twenty years. Through her exceptional work, in which she also uses a variety of technical textiles in a unique way, she has attracted a wide audience many of whom are experts. Her artwork features, for example, carbon (a material resembling fabric), but also perforated metal sheeting. The artwork "station" was created specifically for Plan B and aimed all those who fly in the clouds. Real roots, basis of the artwork, anchor all participants to the ground, and the surface is shaped from a flexible creative matter directly for the human figure.
Pavla Sceranková, Dušan Zahoranský
Pavla Sceranková (1980) and Dušan Zahoranský (1972) are partners in life and sometimes also in their artwork. Both graduated from art schools – Pavla in Prague and Dušan in Bratislava – and devoted themselves to the creation of artistic objects. Pavla Sceranková was short-listed for the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize in 2007 and 2015. In the early days of her work, she combined ephemeral sculptural artwork with video and gradually developed her characteristic abstract-figurative style. Dušan Zahoranský used texts in his installations, featuring contrasts between objects and their commentaries. Both artists are well-known in Litomyšl through their atypical, creative design for a kids' playground on the bank of the River Loučná. As a couple this time, they are returning to the crypt of the Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross, where they are exhibiting a human "scaffolding" circulating like an electron field around a head, a portrait of them both, which is within reach and at the same time in its own microcosm.
Jan Svoboda (1955) is an art teacher who has devoted most of his career to the education of talented young students. The audience of several international Hermit symposia in Plasy in the 1990s remember him as a conceptual artist, the creator of inconspicuous and fragile works of art. Jan Svoboda is the master of invisible intervention in various public and intimate spaces, in which he persuasively applies his characteristic everyday poetry. He prepared an art project for Litomyšl, on which the spectators, but also all the pedestrians in the city cooperate unknowingly. In several places in the actual city pavement, the artist has replaced the stone blocks with graphite ones (graphite as in the lead of an ordinary pencil), so with their footprints all passers-by participate in the endless random drawing of Litomyšl.
From the opening ceremony: