SPECIAL FEATURE: SUMO (The Odd Year)

Featured Artists: Chloé Poizat, Cécile Beau, Vanessa Conte, Yong Xiang Li, Mel Odom, Emma Pryde, Marie Haefner, Salome Lübke, Ján Mančuška, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Nina Beier, Romana Drdova, Kiki Kogelnik, Ida Szigethy, Kazuna Taguchi, Dino Zrnec, Dragoș Bădiță, Irina Botea Bucan, Iulian Bisericaru, Matei Bejenaru, Megan Dominescu, Sebastian Hosu, Adelina Ivan, Aurora Király, Olivia Mihălțianu, Alexandru Solomon, Vladimír Houdek, Anna Schachinger, Julia Goodman

Featured venues: A.M. 180, 22.48m2, Berlinskej Model, Horse & Pony, City Surfer Office, Fonda Leipzig, Foundation and Center for Contemporary Art Prague, Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts University of Westminster, hunt kastner, Meyer Riegger, i8, Lucie Drdova Gallery, Croy Nielsen, Vin Vin, lítost, Anca Poterasu Gallery, Polansky Gallery, ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN, Sophie Tappeiner, Prague, The Czech Republic

Date: September 4 – 6, 2020

Photography: images courtesy of the artists, SUMO and galleries

The first edition of SUMO, a three-day showcase of contemporary art, will begin the first weekend of September 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic. Hosted by nine local art venues, the project emphasizes international cooperation with an expansive program comprising exhibitions and events curated together with institutions invited from abroad.   

The main program, which takes the form of several shared exhibitions, was prepared by nine unic Prague galleries of contemporary art in collaboration with foreign partners. Individual exhibitions will showcase works by international artists including the American artist Mel Odom, Austrian painter Kiki Kogelnik, who lived and worked in New York, Austrian artist Anna Schachinger, and Paris-based artist Chloé Poizat. Exhibitions will also include works by notable Czech artists such as Ján Mančuška, Vladimír Houdek, and Romana Drdová.

The opening weekend will include presentations of exhibitions by individual galleries and a public program featuring performances, lectures, and guided tours as well as meetings between curators, theoreticians, artists, gallery owners, collectors, and the general public. Exhibitions and their accompanying events will be open to visitors for the following six weeks according to the programs of individual galleries. SUMO is a project organized by the Alliance of Contemporary Art Galleries.

Lucie Drdová, director of the Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries, summarizes its interests: “Members of the Alliance and the cooperating initiative projects strengthen the international presence of artists from the Czech Republic and support the development of the contemporary art scene.

SUMO will open with the vernissages of the individual exhibitions showcased as part of the international overview of contemporary art. These vernissages will take place simultaneously on Friday, 4 September from 4 to 10pm at two main locations in Prague – the Žižkov and Letná neighborhoods. This year visitors can attend exhibitions at the following Žižkov galleries: A.M. 180 Gallery with guest gallery 22.48m2 (FR) and the City Surfer Office on Bořivojová Street in collaboration with the Fonda Gallery (DE) where as part of Saturday’s program an author’s reading will take place along with the exhibition opening of Ján Mančuška: A Gap. Other exhibitions in Žižkov include Sigurdur Gudmundsson: Journey of Being at hunt kastner in cooperation with the galleries Meyer Riegger (DE) and i8 (IS), an exhibition at lítost in collaboration with the Romanian gallery Anca Poterasu, and the group exhibition The Unremarkableness of Disobedient Desire in collaboration with the galleries Croy Nielsen (AT) and Vin Vin (AT) at the Lucie Drdova Gallery on Křížkovského Street.

The evening gallery openings and accompanying program in Letná will begin at Berlinskej Model in Holešovice, hosting the Berlin gallery Horse & Pony and the exhibition Fantasy Finery. For Friday evening, the Polansky Gallery has prepared the performance Taxon One, which will take place at 9pm in Stromovka Park.  ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN will present work by artists Anna Schachinger and Juliana Goodman in collaboration with the Austrian gallery Sophie Tappeiner. The SUMO program will also include two lectures entitled “The Aesthetics of Reality” on Saturday, 5 September at 6pm at CSU Prague. The lectures will deal with topics related to the contemporary function of the development industry as well as parametric architecture and its influence on our experience of space.

The SUMO project emphasizes gallery collaboration and aims to connect the Czech and international contemporary art scenes. This first year of the project involves international collaboration between nearly twenty galleries despite conditions in the beginning of 2020 being rather unfavorable. This fact is ironically highlighted by the project’s subtitle: The Odd Year. The collaborative activities of the participating galleries therefore attempt to increase awareness of the current situation and the development of the Prague gallery scene within a European context. At the same time, SUMO attempts to deepen understanding of the activities of private and non-commercial galleries and their significance in supporting contemporary art.

In a time of worldwide instability, we are attempting to provide the most up-to-date and innovative artistic statements within the framework of a local initiative,adds Lucie Drdová, speaking for all participating galleries.

The SUMO project is organized by The Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries.

The Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries is a partnership  of contemporary art galleries whose primary principle is to act as a platform from which we can more formally initiate cooperative projects, share ideas, and initiate discussion about how we can most effectively work together to help cultivate an original, high-quality art scene that will be mutually beneficial for us all.

The first year of SUMO 2020 will see the participation of the following Prague galleries hosting international participants:

A.M. 180 | 22.48m2 (FR)
Berlinskej Model | Horse & Pony (DE)
City Surfer Office | Fonda Leipzig (DE)
Foundation and Center for Contemporary Art Prague | Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts University of Westminster (EE, GB)
hunt kastner | Meyer Riegger (DE), i8 (IS)
Lucie Drdova Gallery | Croy Nielsen (AT), Vin Vin (AT)
lítost | Anca Poterasu Gallery (RO)
Polansky Gallery | exhibition, screening, performance
ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN | Sophie Tappeiner (AT)

 

A.M. 180 Gallery | 22,48 m2 (FR)

PHANERON: CHLOÉ POIZAT, CÉCILE BEAU
Curated by: Eva Skopalová

The world is beginning to appear hallucinogenic and fantastical, as if the reality of 2020 has rebelled against “common sense”. The line between fantasy and reality is becoming blurred, and things we could never imagine are actually happening. Phaneron is a term Charles S. Peirce used to describe “the collective total of all that is in any way or in any sense present to the mind, quite regardless of whether it corresponds to any real thing or not.” An exhibition as a literal reference to Plato’s allegory of the cave motivates us to re-evaluate the concept of fiction, which offers a deeper understanding of what we conventionally label as reality. The work of Chloé Poizat and Cécile Beau creates the environment of a cave in which the shadows of ideas are mere hallucinations.

 

Berlínskej Model | Horse & Pony (DE)

FANTASY FINERY: VANESSA CONTE, YONG XIANG LI, MEL ODOM, EMMA PRYDE
Curated by: Monika Čejková

The exhibition prepared by galleries Berlínskej Model and Horse and Pony as part of the international gallery tour SUMO 2020 has been inspired by sophisticated technologies which could, in the future, completely replace sexual partners. To label this phenomenon, the novel term “digisexuality” was created. The exhibition will present works (drawings, objects and videos) which are concerned with this concept.

 

City Surfer Office | Fonda (DE)

MEET ME HALFWAY: MARIE HAEFNER, SALOME LÜBKE
Curated by: Fonda

The exhibition „Meet Me Halfway“ investigates experiences of relation, juxtaposition as well as the assimilation of artistic practices when physically combining them in the form of an exhibition. Bringing together two german-speaking artists – one based in Vienna and one in Leipzig – the show negotiates different approaches towards the depiction of subject matter and its subsequent interpretation. The works presented oppose each other at first sight. On the one hand, heavily tactile and haptic, the paintings of Salome Lübke tell a story of deconstructed bodies and blurry traces of ever continuous movements. On the other hand, Marie Haefner uses the medium of photography and its current technologies to document realities constituted of our surroundings and its protagonists, also using it to create new and partly imaginative narratives. While Lübke depicts something abstract with extreme fidelity, Haefner dives into extracts of the real, at times making them appear as abstract and uncanny. Accompanying the exhibition, Fonda will present two performative readings by Sarah Rosengarten and Lea Dippold. Both artists will present texts in different forms and therefore evoke, expand and further strengthen the existing dialogue imposed by the already present positions.

 

hunt kastner | Meyer Riegger (DE), i8 (IS)

JÁN MANČUŠKA: A GAP

SIGURDUR GUDMUNDSSON: JOURNEY OF BEING

 JÁN MANČUŠKA: A GAP

in cooperation with Meyer Riegger, Berlin/Karlsruhe

Introducing the film-based installation work from 2007 that critically works with the method of constructing a story in a specific space using dramatic structures, and was the artist’s first solo exhibition in Karlsruhe with his long-standing gallery Meyer Riegger.

SIGURDUR GUDMUNDSSON: JOURNEY OF BEING

in cooperation with i8 gallery, Reykjavik

Presenting works from a series of early photographic works from the 1970s-80s in the format of visual poems that depict the artist as spectator in absurd situations.

 

lítost | Anca Poterasu Gallery (RO)

IN MIDST OF WORST, BEST OF TIMES: DRAGOȘ BĂDIȚĂ, IRINA BOTEA BUCAN, IULIAN BISERICARU, MATEI BEJENARU, MEGAN DOMINESCU, SEBASTIAN HOSU, ADELINA IVAN, AURORA KIRÁLY, OLIVIA MIHĂLȚIANU, ALEXANDRU SOLOMON
Curated by: Anca Poterasu

The artists reflect on how time moves differently amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing primarily on the psychology of isolation as our minds and bodies are confronted with the shifting limitations of space. The show revolves around the artists’ studios or the otherwise familiar settings of their homes, with works created during the lockdown in various mediums and techniques, from photography to textile arts, from painting to drawing and video. The exhibition is structured as a journal of changes, adaptation and reaction through which the artistic process reveals its intimate exchange with the world at large and inner impulses.

 

Lucie Drdova Gallery | Croy Nielsen (AT), Vin Vin (AT)

THE UNREMARKABLENESS OF DISOBEDIENT DESIRE: NINA BEIER (DENMARK), ROMANA DRDOVA (CZECH REPUBLIC), KIKI KOGELNIK (AUSTRIA), IDA SZIGETHY (AUSTRIA), KAZUNA TAGUCHI (JAPAN), DINO ZRNEC (CROATIA)
Curated by: Laura Amann

„The Unremarkableness of Disobedient Desire is a fragmentary group show taking inspiration from the unapologetically instructive novel ‘The Art of Joy’ by Sapienza Goliarda. It looks into the construction of an exemplary and fantastic female figure and her intellectual and political maturation through an array of carefully chosen lovers, utilized to school herself in radical thought. The discovery of pleasure in this sense incites an appetite more generally — for knowledge, experience and autonomy — and suggests a sensual necessity to utopian thinking.“

 

Polansky Gallery

ATILIS PRESS: VLADIMÍR HOUDEK

Atilis Press

Anxiety and Grief in the 21st Century, Drag Queen Culture, Anatomy of Knowledge, Restart, Bending the Present, Topography of Movement, Liquid Identity, The Atlas of Contemporary Utopia, Analogy of Causes, Imagination within the System, Encyclopedia of inherited isolation, Broken Time, Chronic Causality, Sequence 2020, Anonymity, Escape, Presence of Past

 

ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN | Sophie Tappeiner (AT)

DISASTER!: ANNA SCHACHINGER & JULIA GOODMAN
Curated by: Jen Kratochvil

Framing a situation, by
giving glory to a hazy moment
5 cm above the ground, stop
Within an uncertain time vacuum,
spiraling down,
loosing height, stop
Your little personal tragedies, shared,
lived, by proxy
Seems oddly familiar,
to me
Even though there’s more,
than meets the eye
You see only…
stop
Disaster!