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19 Dec 2009

2009 Jindrich Chalupecky Award

Father's Mouth, 2008
still from HD video, 16 min.,
courtesy hunt kastner, Prague

Jiri Skala announced the winner of


Exhibition of the Finalists:
23.10.2009 - 10.1.2010


Exhibition Venue:
DOX - Centre for Contemporary Art
Poupetova 1, Praha 7
Czech Republic

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On November 12, Vaclav Havel presented the 2009 Jindrich Chalupecky Award to Jiri Skala, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, at an award ceremony in Prague at the DOX Center for Contemporary Art, where the five award finalists work is on currently on exhibition until January 10th.

Initiated by the former president and playwright Vaclav Havel, poet and artist Jiri Kolar, and artist Theodor Pistek, the Jindrich Chalupecky Award was first presented in 1990 as an annual award to recognize the promising work of a young Czech artist under the age of 35. The award was named in honor of the philosopher, art and literary critic Jindrich Chalupecky (1910-1990), in acknowledgement of his lifetime achievements and unwavering position in promoting freedom of thought and expression as the pre-requisite for the existence of art.

Jiri Skala
(born 1976, Klatovy, CR) is not afraid to experiment and embark on incalculable adventures. This year, in contrast to last year when he was also a finalist, Skala has freed himself even more radically from the language of visual art to embrace experimental forms of literature. In his installation of works at the award finalist's exhibition in DOX, he combined video and literary texts, providing an overview of his most recent work, which introduces a linguistic narrative to his philosophical-artistic based approach. In an announcement that accompanied the decision, the jury noted the artist's dedicated and consistent conceptual approach. Skala's work often demands the concentrated attention of the viewer, but at the same time is characterized by a strong will to reach out and communicate. The jury also appraised the artist's mature approach in connecting the literary process with artistic content, and his ability to thematize personal relationships as well as analyze larger complex social relations. As his fellow artist Jan Mancuska wrote in the exhibition catalogue 'The element of surprise (in the works of Jiri Skala) does not happen all at once. Instead, it sneaks in when the viewer is thinking of his work.'

The five award finalists (also including Tomas Dzadon, Jiri Franta and David Bohm, Petra Herotova, and Alena Kotzmannova), and the final winner, are selected by an expert jury of professionals, whose members are appointed for a period of two years. This year's jury was made up of the following members: Susanne Altmann, independent curator, Germany; Ondrej Chrobak, curator, GASK: Central Bohemian Regional Gallery; Elizabeth M. Grady, independent curator, New York; Mira Keratova, curator and art theoretician, Slovakia, Pavel Liska, rector of the Academy for Applied Arts, Prague, Jan Merta, artist, Czech Republic, and Joanna Mytkowska, director of the Museum for Modern Art in Warsaw.

The Jindrich Chalupecky 2009 Award Partners and Supporters:
Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Reflex magazine, The Foundation for a Civil Society, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Taprint, Meetfactory, E15, Flash Art,, Art&antiques.

The Jindrich Chalupecky 2009 Award Finalists exhibition coordination:
Lenka Lindaurova, Dan Merta, Tomas Pospiszyl, Irena Sorfova, Dana Tomasova.

Exibition Partner:
DOX Center for Contemporary Art
Poupětova 1, 170 00 Praha 7 Holešovice, CZ

Jindrich Chalupecky Award:
Contact: Lenka Lindaurová