9. SYMPOZIUM LITOMYŠL CZE / UA
DATE OF THE EXHIBITION: 10. 09. - 19. 11. 2022
EXHIBITION OPENING: 10. 09. 2022 AT 17:00
exhibition Curator : Jiří Ptáček
Exhibited artists: argišt alaverdyan, kateryna berlova, masha kovtun, matáš maláč, alina yakubenko, aleš zapletal
When the first internationally cast Litomyšl Symposium was to take place in 2013, inviting Slovak artists was an understandable choice. The above-standard relations between the inhabitants of the two countries, the history of the common state, but also the close connection between the two art scenes in the last three decades, all of this provided a reason for the international symposium to start in such an "intelligible", "Czech-Slovak" way. I believe that the participation of female artists of Ukrainian origin in this year's edition is again linked to a clear reason after many years. And this is even more urgent, because this time it is an expression of solidarity with the difficult fate of people who are facing the invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine, and at the same time an attempt to deepen awareness of the culture of a country that has unexpectedly come closer to us than we ever imagined.
Together with the multitudes of newcomers, the countries of Western Europe have to face new situations and challenges. One such challenge will be how much we value the future that awaits us together. People of various orientations come to the Czech Republic and the surrounding countries. We already know that there are also female visual artists among them (due to conscription, less often artists) who will probably quickly become involved in the artistic life in our country. Even after the war, which will hopefully end sooner than we think, it will be necessary to count on the fact that some of these often young people will already remain. They will take root and become part of our society, culture and our art. In the Czech Republic, for a long time we did not even pay attention to the potential of our own minorities and continued to live a kind of historically unprecedented monocultural dream. The challenge before us will therefore be how we can reflect the different experience that will be offered to us.
We invited three artists from the Czech Republic and three artists from Ukraine to the symposium in Litomyšl. All of them represent interesting positions in the visual arts of the younger generation. And everyone, everyone personifies the situation in their own way. Painter, draftsman and musician Alina Yakubenko came to Litomyšl from Kyiv. Her compatriot Kateryna Berlova arrived from Berlin, where she had recently left Kiev due to the war. This pair was completed by Masha Kovtun, a student at UMPRUM in Prague, who came to the Czech Republic right after the start of the separatist war eight years ago. It is she who represents the bridge that has been forming between the Czech and Ukrainian environments for some time. To some extent, the painter Argišta Alaverdyan has a similar story behind him. But he immigrated from Armenia as a small child and therefore quite naturally established himself on the Czech art scene. Thanks to his family background, he remains connected to his place of origin, its culture and language. The painters Matyáš Maláč and Aleš Zapletal represent a kind of purely domestic pole in the group. However, they did not attend the symposium due to the observance of a kind of multicultural schedule, which slightly distorts the bipolar concept of Litomyšl symposia by "subversion within the limits of the law". Both for the two of them, as well as for the other four, the main motivation for the invitation was their obvious preoccupation with creative work, the power of individual expression and a sense of advancing one's own possibilities unscathed by routine.
The entire six worked for two weeks in the studios set up for the symposium in the architecturally unique villa Klára. Since it is not easy for many creative personalities to work in new, unfamiliar conditions, it was surprising for everyone how quickly the acclimatization took place and with what vigor everyone got to work. But the symposium must not be confused with a production workshop. It would be if it lacked time dedicated to conversations and mutual interactions. The unique climate of similar events consists in balancing creative work and no less creative coexistence. It has to be written about because it can neither be exhibited in a gallery nor photographed for a catalog.
At the exhibition, we present the results of the work in Litomyšl together with relevant examples of the latest creations of the participants. The resulting form is not a programmatic exhibition with a shared theme. It respects the diverse nature and focus of authors and in a certain way is one of the six smaller independent exhibitions. If it is to evoke a specific internal reaction in the audience, then an intensified feeling of internal movement in the pluralistic environment of painting and imagery.