Monthly Archive: April 2001

Poles Apart: The Irreconcilable Conflict of Aging

In 1989, the same year that British artists were responding to Thatcherite Britain by organizing art shows in warehouses, their Polish counterparts were trying to come to terms with a newly emerging political and social order that influenced and reshaped the Polish art scene.

The year 1989 marked Poland’s great economic crisis and, subsequently, the dramatic political transformation that took place in its aftermath. This, however, had been eased by the success of the “solidarity” movement and eventually led to the first free parliamentary elections in Poland. The end of the Communist era and the formation of the first freely … Read more

Bringing Back the Baroque: Actual Infinity

“Actual Infinity”, The Prague City Gallery – Municipal Library, 2nd floor. Marianske Square 1, Prague 1 110 00, Czech Republic.

The baroque period in Bohemia was a time of universal education and cultural practice, and it showed a tendency toward individuality, sensuality, freedom, and imagination. Both art and architecture reflected these changes, and due to the dramatic developments in science and mathematics, The Prague Museum Mathematicum was established in 1722. This Prague version of the Roman Museum Kircheranium included natural objects and scientific instruments in its vast collection. A recent exhibition at the Prague City Gallery unveiled the conflicts and … Read more

Polar Bears on the Balkans

Let me begin my essay by telling a short anecdote: “Once upon a time, somewhere close to the North Pole, one baby polar bear asked his mother:
-Mommy, are you sure that I am a real polar bear?
-Yes, she answered.
-And all our family members are real polar bears as well?
-Absolutely, said she. Your father, me, your grandmothers and grandfathers, and all our relatives are real polar bears. But why do you ask?
-You know, he said, I trust you, of course. But why then do I feel so terribly cold?”

I would like to use this simple … Read more

Indivisible Reminders

Slavoj Žižek, The Indivisible Remainder (London: Verso, 1996).
Slavoj Žižek, The Fragile Absolute (London: Verso, 2000).

Slavoj Žižek’s book The Indivisible Remainder opens with a statement of national belonging: “As a Slovene”. This embrace of Slovene national identity seems to be at odds with the writings of the philosopher with the reputation of being one of the “hottest” post-structuralist thinkers in the West. It is especially unsettling to read this simple declaration of self-possession and “presencing” of what is, without a doubt, a form of separatist “postmodern nationalism” from a philosopher whose work had until recently been part of a Read more

The “Old New” Connection Between Czech and Slovak Art

The New Connection, curated by Lubomira Slusna. Opened February 1, 2001 at the World Financial Center, New York City. Includes works by Jiri Cernicki, Anton Cierny, Michal Gabriel, Vanesa Hardi, Robo Kocan, Vladimir Kokolia, Patrik Kovacovski, Marek Kvetan, Martin Mainer, Ilona Nemeth, Michal Nesazal, Petr Nikl, Petr Ondrusek, Jiri Prihoda, Lukas Rittstein, Dorota Sadovski, Frantisek Skala, Emoeke Vargova, Katerina Vincourova, Dusan Zahoranski.

It has been more than seven years since Czechoslovakia split into two independent countries, and no matter how many international links the artists in both countries have established since, their once common connections and mutual interests have … Read more

NoD Slowly Steps into the Spotlight

With new cafes, galleries, theatres, and cinemas springing up all over Prague, it seems this city is justified to once again call itself a metropolis of culture. There is such a wide range of places to choose from that every evening presents the challenge of just deciding where to go, a far cry from days not so long ago. Yet just imagine a single place that can offer everything culture and the arts demand; a place where people from every nationality can get together and find something they have in common. This is not a utopia, but the Universal Space Read more