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30 Jun 2011

Launch of the new issue of Umelec magazine: 'T R A N S I T I O N  I S S U E'

Umelec 'T R A N S I T I O N I S S U E' cover

'T R A N S I T I O N  I S S U E'
D I V U S  L O N D O N  A N D  U M E L E C


Launch: 1st of July at The Horse Hospital
1.00pm / display of rare early issues of Umelec, recent releases and a selection of amazing books of Divus
8.30pm / party started with short introduction about Divus, Umelec and related affairs by publishers Ivan Mecl and Naomi Green

Naomi Green
+44 (0) 798 136 1096

The Horse Hospital
Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1N 1JD

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D I V U S  L O N D O N  A N D  U M E L E C

warmly inviting you to the launch of the new Umelec magazine,
so-called 'T R A N S I T I O N  I S S U E'.

1st of July
at The Horse Hospital
Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1N 1JD

And what awaits you inside the latest issue of Umělec magazine?

The main topic: In Transition (artists, immigrants, immigrant artists) – Sometimes, artists have no choice but to emigrate or immigrate. Sometimes emigrants and immigrants have no choice but to make art – for instance, if they can't make a living selling drugs.

For their part, other artists have nothing left but their ego and sexual frustrations, which results in a large amount of material for people studying what is and isn't art. We wish all these individuals much happiness in satisfying their perverse desires while reading the new issue of Umělec.

The important question is what is actually coming to an end – the world, capitalism, or merely some kind of illusion that we have lost control of? In his interview with the Dark Mountain project, Dougald Hin says that 'only the poor can afford to see the world as it is', which we all have known for at least 2,000 years, but I suppose we need to see it as well. Ivan Mečl's introductory essay touches on a similar subject. He writes that the brain of the market is found in that majority of the human brain that people don't use. He also says that billboards don't burn well. In the meantime, in a different universe Czech and Slovak artistic managers and coordinators are engaged in a work of fundamental importance for the future of humankind – making sure to use up as much EU funding as possible for projects and ideas that they themselves have no interest in. However, they run up against a group of crazy Austrians who want to take a provocative look at Czechs' relationship to Slovaks and Slovaks' relationship to Hungarians. The Austrians are soon made to understand that the division of Czechoslovakia was right and that there is no point in digging up old issues, and that the Slovaks can't lend the Hungarians even a single square meter, since this would call into question the Treaty of Trianon. In the end, the difficulties with the Austrians are resolved, they are successfully shunted out of the project, and the good work can continue.

And so we are left with the unparalleled example of people capable of cashing in on EU money for projects that are never realized. Their methods are economically the most effective. Alena Boika describes the project of one of these artists, who modestly remains anonymous. And much more (full content attached).
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The Divus Publishing house was established by Ivan Mecl in 1992 as an art publishing house with a technically-equipped production centre. Over time the project grew and now has a broad influence with cultural production. One of the first publications was a fairytale by Tomáše Vejdovský, designed and illustrated by Markéta Othová, who has worked closely with Divus since the beginning. After several book publications the studio published its first edition of the art review Divus. This large-format publication brought together outsider art, style, the alternative, the exclusive and the tasteless – the first three issues defined the way for the whole project.
Find out more at
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Umelec Magazine published by Divus has run since 1997 in Prague, Berlin and later in London. It is directed to the international scene, particularly the wider European circle. Its emphasis on art in Central and Eastern Europe stems from its unique position in that region. Because Umelec is published in three separate languages (English, German an Czech), it has distributors, readers and contributors from all over the world. The magazine reaches out towards other regions that have hitherto only received peripheral or insufficient attention. The sections that were originally limited to local regions are being transformed to international. The new sections' writing penetrates cultural areas with creative courage. Umelec rejects a lingering dominant apolitical approach to art. The magazine demonstrates how life and culture work together, and stands critically against tendencies to limit art to some safe place to which the public has limited access. Visual culture is always rendered accessible to the non-specialist, as a type of mental activity in which the individual always participates without merely consuming. The magazine relies on intelligent journalistic analyses in search of ways this subject can thrive. Umelec doesn't follow trends, but reveals their own limits, and lays the groundwork for new ones.

It leaves correct judgment of the world to others and with cool calm opens to a period of chaos and conflict, because it is only through them that an image can emerge from the innumerable channels of the expanding delta of today's visual culture.

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