22. 4.—19. 6. 2015

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.
Pavel Vančát

Gallery (5)

Fotogalerie z vernisáže (7)


Your comment:

CV — - Kovanda

Samostatné výstavy:

2010        White Blanket, Secession, Wien, AUT
2012        Two Golden Rings, Museo Reina Sofia – Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, ESP 
2013        I haven't been here yet, Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw, POL
2014        Ještě 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
Skupinové výstavy:
2010        Double 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
2011        Museum of Parallel Narratives, MACBA, Barcelona, ESP
                 Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, USA
                 Impossible Comunity, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Moskva, RUS
2012        Ostrovy 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
2013        Lines: 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
2014        Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Modul, New Museum, New York, USA
                  New Ways of Doing Nothing, Kunsthalle, Wien, AUT

CV — - waanja

Lives and works since 2002 in Amsterdam
2015 Moje moje ne tvoje!/Mine Mine Not Yours!, <waanja> & Kovanda, Atelier Josefa Sudka, Praha
2004 Here Comes Success, Dům umění, Brno
1999 Lazy Love, Galerie DH, Olomouc
1996 Happy Cancer, Galerie JNJ,  Praha
1995 Radek Váňa a Jan Merta, Galerie Velryba, Praha
2015 Urban Landscape V, Amsterdam
2014 Nieuwe leden, Arti et amicitiae, Amsterdam
2013 Re: Rotterdam
2002 Works from the studios, Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Český Krumlov
2000 Inner City Pressure, NoD, Praha
1999 Villa, Richterova villa, Praha
O lásce/About Love, Richterova vila, Praha
2002 spread for the catalogue ZVON – biennale of young art, GHMP – City Gallery Praag
cover project for Kunstlicht (issue about performance art), Amsterdam
2000 ZE SPOLEČNOSTI / SOCIETY News, in Detail [Prague]
           DNAbanner, www.intimate.cz/dna
1999 LÉTO V KUCHYNI (s Janem a Radkem pod pokličkou) / SUMMER IN THE
KITCHEN (with Jan Mancuska), in Detail
1995 STYL, in Detail
2001 Egon Schiele Art Center, Český Krumlov/Krumau (studio of the Ministry of Culture of
the Czech Republic)

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