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Start up IV
For its fourt annual edition, Start up is moving its venue to the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace which will host a total of five of the project’s exhibitions. Along with several flagship exhibitions curated by Monika Doležalová, the series will newly include projects mounted by young curators whose presentations will thus be linked with the individual shows. The exhibitions of project’s fourth edition will be visually designed by young students of graphic design.
HABITUS / Tadeáš Podracký
08/11 — 22/12, 2013
City Gallery Prague, Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace
curated by myself
curator of the supplementary exhibition: Adam Štěch
(Participants: František Polák, Maria Makeeva, Jan Kloss/Matěj Činčera, Michal Bačák, Mütanta, Jan Horčík, Kristína Ambrozová, Lukáš Kijonka, Ex Lovers, Martina Marešova)
graphic design: Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss
Although Tadeáš Podracký (born in 1989, Hradec Králové) is now a student of glass-making and design, until recently he believed this material to be defunct, and so he would prefer to tackle it in all kinds of ways but never to use the traditional approach. His output, at times perhaps appearing overly elaborate, is rooted in total concentration on the subject, conceptual reasoning, and thorough study of a theme prior to the actual creative stage.
Within the Start Up IV project, Tadeáš will present an installation summing up his subsequent reflections on the position of design and art and their mutual interaction. He has filled up fictional space delineated by a wooden structure (responding to the layout of the room) with artifacts from his everyday environment such as pieces of furniture, interior decorations and a skateboard, which together, assembled in a whole, he has transformed into a new visual form. The concept of his show draws inspiration from the term Habitus, coined by the French sociologist Pierre Félix Bourdieu, denoting rooted patterns of behavior determined by social convention. This time Tadeáš is something like a sociologist. Tadeáš’s objects assume an additional semantic value, communicating between each other, as well as with the installation as a whole and with the viewers. “I will work with objects which are typical for one feature or another, and are therefore easy to pigeonhole; thereby I intend to influence the final effect generated by the installation. I do not wish to construct an imitation, or for that matter, some real-life interior either; rather, this is supposed to be a reflection on the system of arrangement of things/objects in a given space, on what can affect such arrangement, and how a certain arrangement can affect another one. I am going to create a reminiscence of fictional space – a torso of sorts – featuring an arrangement of objects tuned to a system of values generated by me,” said Tadeáš at the beginning about his method.
When building a space Tadeáš has acted as a stage designer, which reminded me of the working method of the creative duo Elmgreen & Dragset called staging and of their concept of fictitious homes (Home Fictional & Home Truths). However, rather than family stories Tadeáš is interested in the history of individual artifacts by which we decorate our homes, in their economic and emotional ties to their owner. In this installation this concerns, for example, a Persian carpet, the ornamentation of which has fascinated Tadeáš for a long time, or the skateboard as a memory of his boyhood rebellion. The Oriental carpet also has a symbolic function in the installation, evoking the warmth of home, evenings by the fireplace, watching television. Models for Tadeáš’s combination of disparate objects and materials are garbage on the street which he began to notice during his internship in New York (2012). This gave rise to a central object of the installation – a massive ball of pieces of second-hand clothing inspired by a personal bad habit of piling clothes on a chair in the evening. In terms of Tadeáš’s tendency to fetishism (applicable to all of us) it is useful to mention his favorite artist – Gabriel Orozco. Unlike him, however, Tadeáš does not treat his found pieces as museum props, but freely draws from them and transforms them into his own objects. Thus he composes a 3D kit, into which he adjusts an infinite number of parts interconnected with his own life. It is like a game for adults. “The thing spontaneously arises by how you live. I superpose things and try to find new connections,” he says.
Tadeáš Podracký is a sixth-year student of the Department of Glass-making and Design run by Rony Plesl, at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.
I asked Adam Štěch (born in 1986, Děčín), a recent graduate of art history at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, to be the curator of a supplementing exhibition. Adam has been involved in design for a long time and is already considered a great expert in it, and he has been a curator of interesting exhibitions. During his studies he worked as an editor of the magazine Dolce Vita and in 2009 together with Matěj Činčera and Jakub Štěch (soon joined by Jan Kloss) he co-founded OKOLO – a creative group interested in new theoretical context and presentation of design, architecture, art and fashion. Thanks to his good orientation in the theme of the exhibition and the ability to work originally with both the theme and the installation (here a large role has been played by other members of OKOLO) he has become a clear favorite for the dialogue with the installation project HABITUS of the young artist and designer Tadeáš Podracký. In response, in collaboration with ten selected graphic designers and illustrators (František Polák, Maria Makeeva, Jan Kloss/Matěj Činčera, Michal Bačák, Mutanta, Jan Horčík, Kristina Ambrozová, Lukáš Kijonka, Ex Lovers and Martina Marešová) Adam has prepared a visual research of experimental architectural projects of the late 20th century. While Tadeáš Podracký creates his own vision of a fictional space which examines the mutual relationship of man and the space itself, the supplementing exhibition is focused on recent history and discovers ten major architectural experiments, which at the time offered an alternative to the traditional design and concept of space and its use by its users. Within the exhibition HABITUS, Adam Štěch together with the group OKOLO are presented for the first time by a public institution in the Czech Republic.
In response to an installation project mounted by young artist and designer Tadeáš Podracký, I invited a group of ten graphic designers and illustrators to take part in a visual research programme focused on experimental architectural projects of the second half of the 20th century. While Tadeáš Podracký comes with his own vision of a fictive space in which he studies mutual relations between the human individual and the space as such, the supplementary show embarks on a journey into the recent past, rediscovering ten crucial architectural experiments which offered in their time solutions alternative to the traditional concept of and approach to the phenomenon of space and the various ways it can be treated by its users.
The second half of the twentieth century ushered into the process of constituting a modern-age residential space and the development of humans, attitudes towards it, new and unexpected opportunities for experimenting. The concepts of a housing module, or a symbolic home of the future, formulated in parallel studies by several leading figures in various parts of the world, turned into catalysts of experimental design and architecture, pointing to new possibilities of structural construction, materials, and above all, spacial relations, involving visions of near-future perspectives for patterns of human residence. Even though most of these visions have eventually proved to be utopian, the exhibition Habitus will bring into relief several more or less well-known experimental projects dating from the golden age of architectural modernism, in the light of parallel interpretations by several present-day Czech illustrators and graphic designers.
Here, present-time graphic artists offer their own first-hand response to specific projects by modernist architects and designers dating from between 1935 and 1975, coming up with their own visual interpretations of experimental housing modules, socio-architectural visions, or unique interior design schemes. The exhibition features interpretations of famous projects, such as the House of the Future by the British architects Alison and Peter Smithson; the Futuro House by the Finnish architect Matti Suuronen; or the icon of the 1960s housing architecture, the project Habitat authored in 1967 by the Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. These works canonized by history are coupled here with various less well-known projects charting the limits of residential space, by the likes of Guy Rottier, Jean Maneval, Zvi Hecker, or Michael Jantzen. All the historical projects dealt with here are accompanied by present-day reflection, and bring to the attention of specialists and the general public alike an array of less well-known architectural works translated into the idiom of present-day graphic style.