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29 Oct 2010

Decadence Now! at Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague

Jan Van Oost: Mimesi, 2008-2010 (detail)
white marble, 98 x 58 x 58 cm
Courtesy of the Artist

Decadence Now! Visions of Excess
Galerie Rudolfinum


Decadence Now! is the exhibition project that maps out and fundamentally summarises the concept of decadence in contemporary creative art. 30.9.2010 - 2.1.2011 curator: Otto M. Urban Opening time: Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday: from 10 am to 8 pm


+420 227 059 205
+420 222 319 293

Alsovo nabrezi 12
110 01
Prague 1
Czech Republic

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The exhibition is a presentation of contemporary artists and their work – painting, sculpture, photography and video – in five main chapters. The exhibition has no chronological division, instead being split into five sections that fluidly and logically move on from each other, so creating an imaginary full circle.

The self-portrait was the first 'sin' of art, the first attempt to knock down the dominant figure of an artistic ideal. The self-portrait is the central theme of the first chapter of the exhibition.
Matthew Barney, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Gilbert & George, Gottfried Helnwein, Damien Hirst, Jürgen Klauke, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yasumasa Morimura, Catherine Opie, Pierre et Gilles, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Sterzing, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Wojnarowicz


One of the oldest topics of imagery alongside self-portraits is erotica. In this chapter you will find topics such as pornography, fetishism and gay aesthetics.
Nobuyoshi Araki, Marc Bijl, Wim Delvoye, Martin Gerboc, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Jeff Koons, Niba, ORLAN, Jan van Oost, Pierre et Gilles, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Géza Szöllősi, Tsang Kin-Wah, Joel-Peter Witkin


Mass art should be entertaining and not provocative. The main populist streams spread simple, across-the-board opinions and occupy ever stronger positions. Ever greater potential is found in mediocrity and sameness, for which difference becomes dangerous - it is seen as a threat to some sort of abstract purity and monolithy, as the breaking of the social and cultural canon.

An extension of this chapter is ROOM NO. 13 at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, which implies the broad spectrum of penetration of decadence into such areas as contemporary fashion or design. This is not a presentation of all artists who find inspiration for their work in decadence. The selection criterion is the direct connection of the works chosen to the exhibition at Galerie Rudolfinum and related organisation of topics.
Boaz Arad, Ondřej Brody, Jiří Černický, David Černý, Gilbert & George, Martin Gerboc, Gottfried Helnwein, Zsófia Keresztes, Nick Knight, Alexander Kosolapov, David LaChapelle, Zbigniew Libera, Alexander McQueen, Robert Miller, Yasumasa Morimura, NIBA, Shimon Okshteyn, Erwin Olaf, ORLAN, Pierre et Gilles, Jamie Reid, Terry Rodgers, Comenius Roethlisberger, Paolo Schmidlin, Richard Stipl, Géza Szöllősi, Mark Ther, Maciej Toporowicz, Joel-Peter Witkin

The turn of the millennium was characterised by the rise in various apocalyptic visions of the collapse of civilisation and the impending destruction of the world as we know it. Confusion of values and chaos were fragmented into a broad range of spiritual, religious visions. Decadence maps out extreme submersions in the spiritual worlds of Christianity, its various heresies and magical cults.
David Bailey & Damien Hirst, Matthew Barney, Josef Bolf, Gottfried Helnwein, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Jürgen Klauke, Joachim Luetke, Ikuko Miyazaki, Yasumasa Morimura, Catherine Opie, Zhang Peng, Joel-Peter Witkin


One of the great taboos of modern society has gradually and inconspicuously permeated everyday reality to subsequently become one of the primary fascinations of the contemporary world.
Steven Gregory, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Václav Jirásek, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jan van Oost, Ivan Pinkava, Joel-Peter Witkin


The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive publication created by curator of the exhibition Otto M. Urban. The book maps out the phenomenon of decadence from the artistic perspective and from the philosophical, historical and social point of view, revolving around the impressive pictures in the publication. The book is published by Arbor vitae in association with Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague.

The exhibition shall be completed by an entire line of accompanying programs (music, film, literature etc.).