Olomouc Museum of Art / Olomouc Central European Forum
JUNE 3, 2021 – NOVEMBER 7, 2021
The Triennial of Central European Culture and Art is a new format being prepared by the Olomouc Museum of Art within its Central European Forum (SEFO) programme, to be held for the first time in 2021. Its goal is to further develop the institution’s interest in this geographically and semantically hard to pin down region. At the same time, it should serve as an impulse to reflect upon the museum’s own activities, methods and approaches to older, modern, and contemporary art, to its own collections. The triennial is also thematically aimed at the city and its open partners, among whom are Palacký University Olomouc, Academia Film Olomouc (AFO), and the Flora Theatre Festival Olomouc.
The first triennial will be dedicated to the Museum – and how it focuses its attention toward understanding the world and thinking about it. Art is understood as an expression of the mind’s effort; and paper, upon which it is primarily focussed, is perceived as a medium for thinking. Of interest is the problem of the system, which can be generally understood bilaterally – as an ideal order, which we discover, the aesthetic (visual) path we copy and learn in this way; or as an artificially-created construct, which we call the truth, often solely out of laziness. The fact is that each of us projects our own universum, few of us however know how to and want to communicate it. The Museum does this, only in a much grander way, and with aspirations of objectivism. The triennial aspires not to change the world, but to think about it. It does not attempt to be engagé, but rather stimulating. Nor does it attempt to understand art as something self-supporting nor as subordinate, it attempts to recognise art and its real significance: its capability to create the world – for which paper is the best metaphor.
The structure of the triennial is made up of more or less static expositions plus a series of programmes which variate the theme of discovery and the organisation of the human spectrum. At its centre is a trio of exhibitions: the first is called Universum, and can be perceived as an expression of searching a new universality, in which a person does not dominate their surroundings but is a natural component of them. It presents a number of personalities in the contemporary art world: graphic artists, draughtsmen and women, photographers, and conceptual and visual artists, including Karol Pomykała (PL), Anna Witt (A), Ádám Albert (HU), Jana Gunstheimer (DE), Ondřej Přibyl (CZ), and Jaro Varga (SK). The second exhibition is monographic, presenting another personality in the context of the Central European Forum: the Polish painter, graphic artist, and exponent of computer art, Jan Pamuła, whose work, in addition to its considerations of the concepts of system and organisation, makes a direct appeal. The third exhibition, eARTh, makes use of the Olomouc Museum of Art collections, placing themes into a historical framework, while attempting an original revision of the view on the relationship between knowledge and art in the history of European civilisation.
The theme of the triennial is nevertheless the institution as a whole, including its two permanent exhibitions, A Century of Relativity and In Glory and Praise II, and the space in the nearby vacant lot intended for construction of the Central European Forum – which also anticipates the interactive installation by Initi and Dan Gregor. In its surroundings are also found Palacký University (Convictorium – the University Arts Centre; the Maria Theresa Armoury – the University Library), municipal and privately owned galleries (Caesar, Telegraph), theatres and cinemas (Metropol), and also the space of the city itself. The individual expositions, installations and programmes are organised in such a way that they dovetail and mutually influence each other. What is more, the year-long Forum programme is also connected to the project, involving performative forms, theatrical and musical productions based on the tradition of Olomouc’s Theatre of Music, including lectures and workshops connected with the cead.space database. Their goal is to bridge the gaps between approaches, medias, eras, and contexts, the permanence of a traditional institution and the fleetingness of festival forms – and finally even one’s own experiences with art. In this sense, the triennial functions as a modular system, which is also reflected by its architectonic layout (by the Brno Institute of Technology’s H3T atelier). It is not linear, nor is it instructional; it rather provides space for one’s own interpretations