“Man’s brain lives in the twentieth century; the heart of most men lives still in the Stone Age.
The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to
be objective.” Erich Fromm, preface to the second edition of Escape from Freedom (1965).
This year’s Magic Carpets project at the Prague Biennale, subtitled The Continuity of Humanity, examines the issue of intergenerational dialogue. It looks at the diversity of its forms and its significance for the formation of collective identities. The project combines qualitative sociological in-depth research with a participatory artistic strategy in order to follow the transformations of local social structures and the forms of their mutual exchange on the basis of cooperation with representatives of four generations.
The curatorial intention was to involve artists who worked with the representatives of four generations, in order to acquire authentic testimony regarding questions of intergenerational dialogue. How it operates, what factors influence it, whether it changes over time, etc. Four working groups were created that provided the project with their personal stories, experiences and opinions on this topic. Eva Jiřička worked with the clients of an art course at the Elpida Centre, Jakub Ra worked with a group of young members of the New Aliens modelling agency, Dejan Jankov, this year’s guest from Serbia, struck up a collaboration with the members of the Prazelenina community garden, and Pavel Havrda worked with the Mamatata community kindergarten. Each of the groups is very special, and we were aware in advance that these are not representative examples of the population. In addition, their motivations for participating and their involvement in the project differed. Despite this disparity (sometimes internal), the dialogues made sense.
The final project presentation was conceived as a hybrid group installation that uses the fingertips and records of the dialogues that took place and will inform visitors about the findings of the individual art projects. The resultant environment created here is composed of functional elements and takes into account the representatives of all generations and groups and monitors their relationships and needs. It is an environment meant to offer the visitors space for their own interpretation, free movement and utilisation within the context of several performative and experiential meetings during the course of the exhibition.
Curator: Elis Unique
Dramaturgy: Apolena Vanišová
Exhibition Architect: Miloš Marek
Zdeněk Cid Kovář, Jan Mayer, Vanda Babická, Daniela Peterová, Renata Valová, Eva Hubálková, Matěj Pšenička, Jaspit, Jan Syrovátka, Filip Volavka, Jana Volavka, Matěj Matouš, Marek Dobeš