Futura is a centre for contemporary art, which can be found in Smíchov, Prague. The inconspicuous entry is contrasting to the huge place that is hidden there. This gallery is well-know due to the exhibitions of famous artists from around the whole world. Its labyrinth-like space makes authentic representation of many mysterious artworks.
Futura holds many exhibitions at the same time among which we can enjoy Intermarium. It is “an exhibition addressing phantasms and images employed by Central European countries when they wish to define their position towards Western and other countries of the region.”
The first works of this exhibition bring us into the atmosphere of politics, or even geography and they might make us desire to learn more. The exhibition is based on the book Rzeczpospolita Zwycieska (Victorious Republic) by Ziemowit Szczerek. It should reveal the history and its influence on today’s society. The vision of utopian state like a solution of many political problems is symbolically shown in the rooms of Futura.
Many of the Intermarium works directly describe the idea behind them. The walls are full of not just the classical canvases, but the art is offered also through the posters which give us the feeling of authenticity when we look at them and differentiate between the real and artificial. The posters at the beginning of the exhibition suggest that we are going to look at the past. They also inform us about the concepts we should be looking for.
The posters are replaced by the photos that act like the subjects of an advertisement competition, but on the other hand, they look like the memories from vacation saved in the frames. The historical idea from Szczerek’s book is transformed into the modern world with the slogan: “Time for a new state. Some say you can find happiness there.”
The exhibition consists not only of posters or photos, but the important message is offered to us also through the audio visualization. A few screens are enriched by the young boy, whose rap singing suggests at least the muse about the relationship between European countries. He signs in different languages and moreover, his environment contains a stable full of cows.
Another room is an artwork per se because the white walls changed into the colorful representation of political ideas. More time is needed for the following of this work, but we can think of the meaning of the swastika, Jewish star or barbed wire in a connection with the naked bodies. The work is a mosaic of different symbols and ornaments, and it makes a contrast between the new and old and perhaps the violence and nonviolence.
This exhibition is not just about five minutes spent in the art centre, but it allows us to wait a little bit and think about the certain problematics. This is the case of a small television which hides a story of Grupa Azorro, which is called Pyxis Systemetis Domestici Quod Video Dicitur. “The film plays with the road movie formula. Grupa Azorro travels from Krakow to Vienna in order to deliver their VHS cassette for an exhibition at Ludwig Museum. Artists pass by small villages and ugly suburbia that once belonged to Austro-Hungarian Empire. All the way long they speak Latin and one of members of the group claims ironically: “We are surrounded by the world of universal beauty.””
Another video is called The Russian Woods by Chto Delat that can be regarded as a reaction to political developments in Russia in 2011. It is a combination of theatrical play, concert and the shots of riots that bring the fun into the serious set of events.
The curators Lukasz Bialkowski and Piotr Sikora have made a link between the different kinds of art that is associated with the question of federation and European politics. They helped us to look at the problematics by artistic experience and the selected works fit together like a walk through the comic and many times sad aspects of European countries. Even though this exhibition is trying to point out the concrete facts, it works as an alternation of aesthetics with the pragmatically served information.
And what do you want to connect into Intermarium?