OPENING: JAN DURINA . ALENA KOTZMANNOVÁ . MILAN MAZÚR: Hours Against the Clock
curated by Světlana Malinová
The exhibition Hours Against the Clock offers a glimpse into the minds of two generations of Czech and Slovak artists and reflects a shared Czechoslovak historical experience that spills over into the present. Collective traumas and family memories are written into the visual images.
Alena Kotzmannová presents a cross-section of her work, anchored in the photographic series Cyclone (2004-2005). In the series, the artist works with couples that at first glance appear almost identical, but were taken at different intervals from the same location. Cyclone unsettles the viewer with regard to the sequence of events and phenomena as well as the principle of photography itself. The work by artist Jan Durina, I Was Going To Be a Great Person (2023), is displayed in the center of the exhibition space. It is accompanied by a previously unseen photograph from the Horal (2017) series. Durina’s work has long spanned multiple levels of expression, with themes of mental health, sexuality and social criticism layered throughout the works. In particular, the exhibition offers glimpses into the artist’s narratives that tell us stories of the Central European region and its history. Milan Mazúr’s speculative film essay What kind of song has managed to dispel this fog? (2022) works with elements of family history and deconstructs them expressively. It teeters on the edge of genre and unsettles the viewer with the ambivalence of film language.
The Czech Center Berlin had to leave the brutalist Embassy building on Wilhelmstraße in 2023 due to the planned renovation which led to the loss of its established exhibition space. As a response to this, Stephan Koal ( director of KVOST) proposed to cooperatively realize a photography exhibition at KVOST. The Fotograf Festival from Prague, a young and vibrant platform in the field of photography, was then invited to curate an exhibition.