Exhibition of young artists opens in Prague

By Dita Asiedu The fourth biannual exhibition of young artists begun on Wednesday at one of Prague's most interesting galleries, the historic House at the Stone Bell. Here selected works by a large variety of contemporary artists will be on show until May 5th.

Transformed into a colourful showcase of contemporary art from twenty four talented Czech artists, the recently renovated gothic House at the Stone Bell - on Prague's Old Town square - devotes three floors to interactive installations, human size Pokemon figures, wax sculptures and witty photographs.

"This is the first room and here is a funny situation. Alena Kocmanova - a female artist - exhibits a photograph called 'the end'. It's about the situation of contemporary Czech visual art because the situation is not clear, it's very open, and you never know whether you're at the beginning or at the end."

The chief curator of the show, Michal Kolecek, visited close to 100 artists throughout the country to select the best of the least famous.

"The limit for the age of the artists is approximately 35 years. It is not really young but artists who studied at academies or the universities of applied arts finish their studies at the age of 25 so they have about ten years after they finish. So a lot of them have experience with exhibitions and art projects before the biennial but realised these exhibitions in independent galleries and this is the first possibility for these young artists to exhibit in the big institutions on the international and professional level."

Despite the fact that twelve years have passed since the fall of Communism, the contemporary art scene has not yet recovered from the 40 years of Communist rule.

"The situation of Czech contemporary art is not as established as in the traditional democracies in western Europe, for example. The artists therefore have not as many possibilities to ask for grants or to find studios, and so on. In this area, the situation really is non-established but it is not a hundred percent bad because you can sometimes find many unusual ways of promoting artwork and a new way of thinking about contemporary art."

And you will find out more about the exhibition and other art projects that are part of the exhibition in Dita Asiedu's art programme next month. It will include a tour of the exhibition and a look at how independent galleries are faring in the Czech Republic.