We are a city gallery bringing our visitors an opportunity to experience intense encounters with contemporary visual arts. Contemporary art is not just something in which one can find pleasure, but rather a particular creative approach to the world. It may result in objects immediately recognisable as works of art, but also in situations or events in time and space, through which artists explore the present and invite viewers to be active and think for themselves.
We are convinced that the gallery should do justice to the nature of contemporary art and meet the needs of artists, curators and other creators. Not the other way around. In fact, a gallery that clings to tried-and-tested and obligatory formats and practices isn’t working properly – not only in relation to art and artists, but above all in relation to the public. Contemporary art sees and shows the world from perspectives that are seemingly not a normal part of our everyday actions. And that’s where its value is to be found.
The contemporary art gallery helps artists realize their visions. At the same time, though, it creates a background for visitors that enables them to recognise and intensely experience ideas about the world and suggestions on how to perceive it, what to do in it and with it, expressed through artistic creation. To understand this, we also offer glimpses into other disciplines that set it in a broader context. In this way, we ourselves keep learning – from the artists, and also from our visitors and collaborators. And education is something that we consider to be an equal and integral part of our activities and identity.
We believe in contemporary art that is continuously continuously developing and whose forms, functions and intentions are constantly changing, just like the world itself. The initial values of modern art – the openness to the new, the criticism of social injustice and a belief in people as free, sensitive and thoughtful beings – continue in contemporary art in a way that corresponds to the 21st century experience and takes on unique forms in various places around the world, including Ostrava.
Our task is to work with contemporary art in order to convey to the people of Ostrava and its immediate surroundings diverse ways of understanding and experiencing the present on the one hand, and on the other the inspiring alternatives for the future, which are being explored by artists from all over the world. With their help, we develop an awareness of an increasingly complex world and different ways of understanding, depicting and considering its risks and challenges. We do it for the benefit of the inhabitants of this unique city – and beyond – as we share responsibility for its condition.
Our new venue, the renovated municipal slaughterhouse, in a way represents a solid, supporting point for our activities, which makes it possible for our programme to preserve a certain conscious degree of volatility and improvisation. We therefore intend to use the next few years to explore, among other things, the various possibilities offered by the new venue and its immediate surroundings.
Director of PLATO