Featured Artists: Šimon Sýkora, Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Štěpán Brož, Øleg & Kaśka, Maruša Sagadin, Olga Krykun, Anna Slama & Marek Delong, Nela Britaňáková, Tina Hrevušová, Adam, Johanna Rocard, Heléne Hulak, Lux Miranda, Maruša Sagadin, Jindřiška Jabůrková, Matyáš Maláč, Sebastian Mittl, Caspar Stracke, Eliška Konečná, Ryo Koike, Eva M. Nelson, Shelter of Trust, Linda Stupart, Halima Hiri, Karolína Hnětkovská, Zai Xu, Monika Chlebek
Featured venues: Berlinskej Model, hunt kastner, Holešovická šachta, Garage Gallery, Polansky, A.M. 180, Světova 1, Hidden Gallery, Prague, The Czech Republic
Organized by: Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries
Date: September 20 – 24, 2023
Photography: images courtesy of the artists, SUMO and galleries
SUMO Prague 2023 is an international gallery cooperative project organized by Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries. The fourth edition will take place from 20 – 24 September 2023 in Prague in cooperation with Prague Art Week. This year’s edition of SUMO reflects on the theme of collaboration within the art scene, its possibilities and limitations. For the first time, the centerpoint of the programme is a collective exhibition which will take place at the unique baroque hunting lodge “Šlechtovka” in Stromovka park, bringing together selected artists working with the participating galleries of SUMO. The curatorial concept of the exhibition will be developed by Tjaša Pogačar, independent curator and co-founder of the contemporary art platform ŠUM, and Jen Kratochvíl, director of Kunsthalle Bratislava. Another highlight of the SUMO programme this year will be a discussion with professionals from other gallery cooperative projects from abroad and will take place at the National Gallery Prague on 21 September.
Within the framework of SUMO, exhibitions, performances, and tours will take place in the individual spaces of the participating galleries, the programme of which has been developed in collaboration with international partners. The aim of SUMO is to bring contemporary art to a wider audience and to create more possibilities and perspectives by building a stronger network of galleries, curators, artists and critics locally and internationally.
SUMO show 2023: Gnomes With Saxophones
Artists: Šimon Sýkora, Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Štěpán Brož, Øleg & Kaśka, Maruša Sagadin, Olga Krykun, Anna Slama & Marek Delong, Nela Britaňáková, Tina Hrevušová, Adam
Curated by: Tjaša Pogočar, Jen Kratochvil
Photos by: Eva Rybářová
Gnomes typically gather in meadows. Also, when it comes to human and domesticated environments, in gardens and parks. In relation to a built architecture, they prefer to cluster in niches, on window sills, in corners, nooks and crannies, at bottoms of fountains, or next to fireplaces. No matter the particular appreciated spot, they play their instrument of choice – from time eternal – the saxophone, which gno
mes invented and proclaimed an official national instrument of The Great Disjoined Nation of The Gnome Federation. Who tells you otherwise is probably wrong. Yet, don’t take our word for it; we are no gnomes-core experts either.
What you are witnessing right now is a gathering rather than an exhibition. Since the works have been gathered and dispersed, distributed and often diluted in meaning for the greater good of the gathering itself.
This is a gathering of the 2023’s Sumo, the gallery/ off-space collaboration that started as an instru mentalized tool to introduce international collectors to the local art scene and turned into an experiment in friendship, fellowship, care, and solidarity. Sumo aimed to create a support structure for the new off- -spaces, artist-run spaces, and grassroots initiatives to learn and grow next to their more experienced forebears, older neighbors, and newly found relatives.
And then the pandemic happened, and the War started, and the inflation rolled away dreams, illusions, and ideals. Firewood replaced gas-powered heaters, and the enthusiasm of many was swept behind the chimney (or an artificial 19th-century style grotto in this particular case, pick your favorite). In times like this, the binding of things, situations, and relationships no longer comes from the content but from its formats of distribution. Rituals grow in importance over their meaning. Sharing a smoke on the bench, or a cup of wine during a feast. Braiding synthetic hair extensions, or pondering the passage of time, tran
sitions and morphing of traditions by simply looking at the movements of a clock, or observing the plants grow in your Janus shaped pot. You might find comfort and structure in the quiet humming of butterfly- -drones above or regular walks in the park that your dog demands. Or in ironing your hair every day, even though you are very aware and critical toward the patriarchal norms and expectations. Perhaps you feel alone and cry so often that your leaking body becomes a fountain, a source of life, a place where a new community might start to gather and share your sorrow…and struggle. Social rituals, support rituals, and mundane or trivial rituals became the live blood of the day to sustain the mind-stabilizing routine.
Sumo is one such ritual. And this gathering is filled with various others. This is no critical statement. No secret cave of carefully hidden meta-narratives and elaborately woven threads of understanding for the few. We don’t aim there. And the gnomes neither. This elaborates on how to spend a day together in the park, in silence or conversation, in tension, or with spirits lifted. This is Sumo, after all.
Berlinskej Model: Caliban and the Witches
Artists: Johanna Rocard, Heléne Hulak, Lux Miranda
Curated by: Céline Sabari Poizat – NONFICTION
Photos: Tomáš Souček
Berlinskej Model is a non-commercial gallery founded in 2011. The gallery organizes several times a month one-day events/exhibitions in the space in Ppl. Sochora in Prague’s Holešovice. Berlinskej Model regularly organizes exhibitions of domestic and international artists and publishes the magazine RAJØN with distribution in Prague and Berlin.
An exhibition and performance project to activate the book NONFICTION 04 “Then the charm is firm and good”, which is dedicated to young contemporary creation that invokes the aesthetics of magic. The title of the exhibition is a tribute to Silvia Federici’s essay “Caliban and the Witch,” which sees the sixteenth century witch hunt as an instrument of domination of the female body in the service of capitalism’s mastery of the reproduction of labor power.
Exhibition in Berlinskej Model gallery is supported by ARTER.
hunt kastner: Maruša Sagadin: Fissures, Others’ Houses
Artist: Maruša Sagadin in cooperation with Christine König Galerie Vienna
Curated by: Vít Havránek
hunt kastner was opened in 2006 in response to a need for more professional representation of Czech artists both locally and abroad. At the time the gallery was founded there was no established tradition of commercial galleries in the Czech Republic presenting an international program and supporting the production and exhibition of new contemporary work in a private gallery setting, or who actively represented and promoted the artists’ work abroad. There were also very few Czech artists with any international recognition and no local commercial platform to support the younger generation of artists. Our aim has been to establish a reputable commercial gallery with a high-quality international program.
hunt kastner is very pleased to start off the 2023 autumn exhibition season with a presentation of work by Vienna based artist Maruša Sagadin, curated by Vít Havránek. This will be the first solo exhibition of the artist in the Czech Republic, whose practice is distinguished by her unique engagement of sculpture, architecture, urban space, gender, and language.
Maruša Sagadin’s sculptures touch on playfulness, imagination, and the pop-cultural accessibility of postmodern art while working with the motif of the body, its form, its needs, and the care it requires – both the body of the particular viewer they are concerned about (and whom they provide with seating) and the human body as the universal measure of all sculpture. The nature of Maruša Sagadin’s work is neither typical nor unusual for feminist aesthetics – it is one of its many forms. (Vit Havránek)
Maruša Sagadin (*1978, Ljubljana) studied architecture in Graz before transitioning to performative arts and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 2015/2016 she participated in the ISCP Grant in New York, and in 2010 she was awarded the Schindler Grant at the MAK – Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. From 2011 – 2017 she was Assistant Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, in the Department for Performative Arts and Sculpture, and from October 2023 will be the visiting guest professor in the sculpture studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Recent and upcoming exhibitions by the artist include: Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (opening Sept. 2023); Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna; Cukrarna Galleries, Ljubljana; Christine König Gallery, Vienna; Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon, Videbæk, Denmark; SPACE London; Austrian Cultural Forum N.Y., New York; Syndicate Cologne; Kunsthalle Wien; Neue Galerie; Innsbruck; Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana; Belvedere 21, Vienna; Grazer Kunstverein; and Room of Requirement/Horse & Pony Fine Arts, Berlin.
hunt kastner: Jindřiška Jabůrková: Endless Flow
Artist: Jindřiška Jabůrková in the projekt_room
Curated by: Vít Novák and Anežka Chalupová
The idea of the constant cycle, transformation and fluidity of matter, whether it is organic, inorganic or dark matter in the universe. Matter taking on different forms, and reshaping its aggregates, retaining memory in layers, degrading and re-forming, shifting and settling.
Jindřiška Jabůrková (*1995) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, studios of sculpture and painting. She works in various media, focusing on the contextual meanings of materials, the motif of post-apocalyptic vision of objects in the world and the transformative processes of matter, whether of human or natural origin.
Holešovická šachta: PORTAL
Artists: Matyáš Maláč (CZ) Sebastian Mittl (AUT)
Curated by: Daniel Hüttler, Noemi Purkrábková
Šachta is a Prague cultural platform focused on the presentation of contemporary art. The space includes a gallery with three exhibition spaces, a bar and a large courtyard. The gallery programme focuses on progressive expressions of art, bold curatorial projects and international collaborations, workshops, happenings and concerts.
At the heart of the group exhibition project, prepared in collaboration with curator Daniel Hüttler and the Vienna based Clubclub Gallery, lies the idea of bringing together two painters graduating this year who had never met before, but whose work is surprisingly close in many ways. By straddling artists and curators between two neighbouring countries, the project will take on an unusual form, with partially overlapping sister exhibitions opening in close succession: one in Prague and one in Vienna.
A kind of permeable „portal“ will thus be created, whose construction plays out the principle of spatiotemporal confusion typical for both artists. This play of similarities and differences is also developed through the works of other artists who will present related but different works in similar but different spatial situations. Chin Tsao, Ulrike Johannsen, Jakub Choma, Teuta Jonuzi, Iris Fabre and Viktor Timofeev, to name a few, will be featured alongside the two named painters.
Garage Gallery: Soothing and Moving
Artists: Caspar Stracke
Curated by: Natalie Kubíková and Mia Milgrom
Photos: Klara Kusa
Garage Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by artist-in-residence Caspar Stracke (Berlin/Mexico City) who is transforming a prominent architectural feature of the gallery into an arena of battling virtual memories. In his works, Stracke is interested in architecture, urbanism and media archeology. He has exhibited internationally, including MoMa Cineprobe, Yerba Buena SF, Museo Reina Sofia v Madridu, ICC Tokyo and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He was the co-director of video_dumbo in NYC and was a professor at the Finish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.
Found objects from the space and its vicinity become search prompts for a corresponding suite of virtual memory objects that attempt to turn the gallery inside out, the terminal point of a collection that spirals outward into the world. Stracke set out to scan particular things that set forth such memory triggers. Particular objects found inside and outside the gallery relate to recreation, locomotion and labor. Used furniture, tools, cars and fragments of entire house facades are placed on a slowly rotating virtual platform, where they are joined by a collection of associated objects in a perpetual call and response. Soothing and Moving is an examination of associative memory, which becomes a neural collagist perpetually creating networks and interrelations. Memory as a construction site reveals the inevitable compulsion to create and recognize patterns from which discourse and reality are formed.
Polansky: Eliška Konečná
Artist: Eliška Konečná
Curated by: Caroline Krzyszton
Photos: Jan Kolský
Polansky is a contemporary art gallery founded by Filip Polanský in 2012. It focuses on local and international contemporary artists. Polansky is situated in two locations in Prague and Brno. The gallery produces around ten exhibitions each year.
Eliška Konečná (*1992) lives and works in Prague. She is a graduate of Painting Studio 1 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Her solo exhibition is accompanied by a text by Caroline Krzyszton.
“Eliška Konečná’s works are an ode to sensuality. Bare, timeless, universal sensuality. Her characters, such as antique gods, often give in to temptation, leading them to unavoidable mistakes. Their bodies exist both as the manifestation of their desire and the vessel of their punishment. (…)”
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the gallery eastcontemporary from Milan, Italy.
A.M. 180: Lullaby for the Parched ’n Shattered
Artists: Ryo Koike, Eva M. Nelson, Shelter of Trust, Linda Stupart
Curated by: Alžběta Čermáková
A.M. 180 Gallery is a multifunctional space founded in the autumn of 2003. One of their activities is A.M.180 Collective – an informal independent association that organizes concerts by artists from the independent music scene, art exhibitions, lectures and film screenings.
Lullaby for the Parched ’n Shattered
We know there are eyes upon us, not the usual fluffy controlled audience. We have been taught to believe in the physical body as the utmost evidence of being or being present.
Exhibition works with the state of inner dissociation and merging of the body and not our body, the alien body within and what happens when the body is abandoned by us or we abandoned the body.
Světova 1: Constellation Underdogs
Participants: Halima Hiri, Karolína Hnětkovská, Zai Xu
Photos: Zai Xu
SVĚTOVA 1 is a platform and a gallery focusing on artistic practice, expression, and projects in nearby zones. It is a holistic entity that through shows and various public programs reacts to the current events in the world. It’s not just important what it presents, but also how it presents. It questions the forms and views the process as a crucial part of the outcome. Its goal is to fully express, achieve full sustainability, practice radical inclusivity and offer a refuge for those in need.
Constellation underdogs will present four fragments from four nonprofit art spaces located outside of prague, which can be viewed as distant as the stars in the night sky. Through the show and its accompanying program, we will delve into the importance of these spaces as the pillars in the structures of our cultural environment. Four artworks as remnants from four different exhibitions that have been realized in different spaces without any significant previous relationships. Their arrangement will create a new landscape, new interactions, just as these art spaces serve as a refuge to communities where new approaches and ideas form.
The planet mercury is more clearly visible during September. In the same way, the exhibition will provide clarity on the practices of the cooperating spaces. Then, as sumo ends, the libra season arrives, reminding us of the value of relationships. The exhibition will be accompanied by a public assembly where we will bring together the voices of representatives of prague art spaces to engage in reflection on our current states, sparking a mutual dialogue over multifaceted topics such as the need for sustainability, balance, and harmony.
Hidden Gallery: Close enough series
Artist: Monika Chlebek
Curated by: Filip Kartousek
Hidden Gallery is a project that aims to enrich Prague’s cultural scene with the work of lesser-known, mostly emerging artists with a strong vision, a confident concept and a precise approach to the craftsmanship of their works, who avoid superficial and self-serving motifs and ephemeral trends and focus on the timelessness of their expression. We are not looking for anything new, we are interested in things that endure.
Recently, Monika Chlebek has been looking for painterly themes in everyday life and her immediate surroundings. Intuitiveness and sensuality are another characteristic feature of her painting. A specific way of framing has become the trademark of her paintings. Their motifs are presented in a fragmentary way, in large close-ups, without unnecessary embellishments. This gives the viewer a sense of unusual closeness with the model portrayed, an impression of looking deeply in the eyes of another being at the moment of a mystical connection with it.