Death, Czech smallness and Contemporary Museums

Jindřich Chalupecký Award, National Gallery, Prague, 27. 9.–1. 12. 2013

This is a two-year project that culminated with my nomination for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2013, where I presented a substantial piece. I exhibited a series of videos and images in an exhibition specifically designed by Jiří Příhoda.

The combination of what motivates us through life, our own sense of self-worth and the way in which we interpret our own stories reveals a lot about us. The project name Death, Czech smallness and Contemporary Museums is a metaphor for the attempt to explore specific aspects of shared identity. With the concept of final destinations and their images, I examine personal emotional and dominant rational history. Therefore, at the World War II Memorial, which commemorates people such as my Romany grandmother, who never returned to her six children, I let a folk singer speak through the mouth of two men, a mother who came back, but without her children. At the place, where Venus of Dolní Věstonice was discovered I let a woman spank her adult daughter. The videoroom has the size of the Baráček family tomb that my ancestors purchased from nobility. I am sticking my tongue out of the tomb, while my knees go weak at the Černá Hora cemetery. At the bottom of the abyss Macocha, the abyss of suicides, I am lying on the ice wet concrete and I am singing a passage from a Catholic sermon. I paint a doorjamb on a pedestal and I add a dinosaur to a covered corpse, a warrior and a souvenir stand…

Photo: Peter Fabo