Political art exhibition to open at Prague Castle next month

The term 'political art' causes instant distrust among many Czechs, especially artists. After 40 years of political oppression by the communist regime, under which artists' creative freedom had to be sacrificed for the possibility of obtaining commissions, one cannot be surprised by such mistrust.

But political art is still alive. Political artwork might arouse mixed emotions here in the Czech Republic, but in the West it is perceived in quite a different way. In the near future, Czechs will have a chance to see political art from around the world: starting in mid-May, Prague Castle will begin hosting an exhibition, called Politik-Um/New Engagement.

The exhibition will show works by 27 political artists from 11 countries and will include huge installations in the open air. I asked one of the organizers, Ludvik Hlavacek from the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Prague, to define what is understood by the term 'political art': The exhibition has two curators. Mr. Hlavacek from the Prague Centre for Contemporary Art is in charge of the Czech artists, while Keiko Sei chose the foreign participants: As I said, Keiko Sei is responsible for the part that will feature foreign artists. I asked her to describe the contribution of two of the foreign participants, and as we hear from her, political art can even be fun: The exhibition of political art will open at Prague Castle on May 15th. For one month.