Mine Mine Not Yours!22. 4. — 19. 6. 2015
The dual and the unique, the usual and the infrequent, embodied in roles and mimicry.
The dual and the unique, the usual and the infrequent, embodied in roles and mimicry that freely yet indivisibly spill over one into the other and lead us from surprise to amazement, from the ephemeral to the common, are by all accounts the central theme of this exhibition. I can perhaps, right at the beginning, reveal that the artist <waanja> is also the curator Radek Váňa, who has been living in Amsterdam since 2002, and has from time to time presented himself also as an artist, mostly working with photographs in an informedly post-conceptual form. In this double role, the curator-artist naturally oscillates between distance and immersion, between noticing and taking interest. <waanja> is thus an amused father in the streets of Amsterdam, who in the country where he has long been at home and yet remains an amazed foreigner, observes, together with his small son, the frivolous creativity of his fellow Netherlanders. Together, <waanja> and Váňa thus form a two-in-one creative duo, who, out of the very tension of that duality (recall the kindred duo Jasanský and Polák), create projects that not only describe the social and aesthetic anomaly of the public space, but themselves also pose questions about the nature of art in general and about its transferability and comprehensibility in everyday practice.
In the set Pure&Honest (2002), <waanja> charts out the temporary low-tech architecture of the make-shift entrances, stairs, gates, and bay windows, the stubborn patches of the venerable Dutch buildings. The series Taken (begun in 2008) then depicts the ‘staking out’ of parking places in an Amsterdam crammed full of cars. In both cases, the low-budget creativity, aimed at the temporary functionality or the simple delimitation of space in the street, reveals itself, to the inquisitive art historian, to be even surprisingly consistent with contemporary ‘expanded sculpture’, only constructed for other reasons and from other starting points. In any event, the space of the street becomes, in both series, an exhibition, with a makeshift podium for primitive sculptors. The walks of the whimsical art historian become the works of the artist-flâneur. They thus blur the boundaries between the public and the personal, between function and game, craftsmanship and DIY, design and cheekiness. The street becomes, as the avant-garde artists once wished, an endless gallery. The only question is who’s going to clean it up.
As if this duality were not enough, one must also mention that the artist, who goes by the name <waanja>, first introduced himself to the public at a joint exhibition with the painter Jan Merta in the Galerie Velryba, in Prague, exactly twenty years ago. This time, <waanja> has invited as a guest artist another of his old friends, Jiří Kovanda, whose installations and interventions on the boundary of communicability and perceivability clearly correspond to our themes. What kind of amalgam of obsessed multiplicity will emerge during the installation can itself only be thrillingly guessed at beforehand, so that ultimately we too leave divided but amused.
exhibition2015Moje moje ne tvoje!/Mine Mine Not Yours!, & Kovanda, Atelier Josefa Sudka, Praha 2004Here Comes Success, Dům umění, Brno 1999Lazy Love, Galerie DH, Olomouc 1996Happy Cancer, Galerie JNJ, Praha 1995Radek Váňa a Jan Merta, Galerie Velryba, Praha
kolektivní výstavy2015Urban Landscape V, Amsterdam 2014Nieuwe leden, Arti et amicitiae, Amsterdam 2013Re: Rotterdam 2002Works from the studios, Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Český Krumlov 2000Inner City Pressure, NoD, Praha 1999Villa, Richterova villa, Praha O lásce/About Love, Richterova vila, Praha
projekty2002pread for the catalogue ZVON – biennale of young art, GHMP – City Gallery Praag
cover project for Kunstlicht (issue about performance art), Amsterdam 2000ZE SPOLEČNOSTI / SOCIETY News, in Detail [Prague]
DNAbanner, www.intimate.cz/dna 1999LÉTO V KUCHYNI (s Janem a Radkem pod pokličkou) / SUMMER IN THE
KITCHEN (with Jan Mancuska), in Detail 1995STYL, in Detai
sídlo2001Egon Schiele Art Center, Český Krumlov/Krumau (studio of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic)
kolektivní výstavy2014Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Modul, New Museum, New York, USA
New Ways of Doing Nothing, Kunsthalle, Wien, AUT 2013Lines: a Brief History, Centre Pompidou–Metz, Metz, FRA
Neo Povera, L&M Arts, Los Angeles, USA
Film as Sculpture, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, BEL
Mixed Media Message, Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA
5. Biennale of Contemporary Art, Spaces of Exception, ArtPlay, Moscow, RUS
13th Istanbul Biennial, Mom, am I barbarian?, Antrepo no.3, Istanbul, TUR 2012Ostrovy odporu – Mezi první a druhou moderností 1985–2012, Národní galerie, Praha, CZE
It is what it is. Or is it?, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA
The Imminence of Poetics, 30th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, BRA
The Unexpected Guest, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, GBR
About Neighbours and Passers-by, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, LIT 2011Museum of Parallel Narratives, MACBA, Barcelona, ESP
Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, USA
Impossible Comunity, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Moskva, RUS 2010Double Bind / Arretez d’essayer de me comprendre, Villa Arson, Nice, FRA
Che cosa sono le nuvole?, Museion, Bolzano, ITA
Les Promesses du passé, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FRA
Painting, Process and Expansion, Museum Moderner Kunst, Wien, AUT
Habiter poétiquement le monde, Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Lille, FRA
samostatné výstavy2014Ještě jsem tu nebyl, Dům umění, Brno, CZE
Jiří Kovanda proti zbytku světa, Dům fotografie, Galerie hl. m. Prahy, Praha, CZE
Above Our Heads, Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli, ITA
Tri člny plávajú pospolu, Kunsthalle/Hala umenia, Košice, SVK 2013I haven't been here yet, Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, POL 2012Two Golden Rings, Museo Reina Sofia – Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, ESP 2010White Blanket, Secession, Wien, AUT