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Photo-report of the exhibition “Extra-Planetary Commitment” 0

Arterritory.com
29/03/2019

From 16 March until 28 April, lítost gallery in Prague is hosting the exhibition “Extra-Planetary Commitment” as curated by Àngels Miralda. The show featuring four artists is a story about the freedom of imagination and a critique of current political practices and establishments. Taking into account the ever-changing environment and social circumstances that have an effect on society, the exhibition is also a retrospective on our contemporary lives. Miralda reveals what “extra-planetary commitment”, as a concept, means to her: “In short, the title refers to the ambition, speculation, and imaginations of the future that were common in the modernist era and which I believe we are lacking today. I wanted to make an exhibition that touches upon the critical and constructive aspects of science fiction as a world-view and a genre that shows common human concerns. In a long curatorial text that is available in the exhibition in both Czech and English, I refer to well-known science fiction narratives, such as Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. and Ursula K. Le Guinn’s The Dispossessed, to show the parallel concerns that those generations had about AI, automation, political turmoil, gender divisions, and ecological exploitation. Therefore, I don’t think that Extra-Planetary Commitment is so much about outer space as it is about the possibilities of the human imagination.”  


The artists participating in “Extra-Planetary Commitment” are Evita Vasiļjeva, Ad Minoliti, Julia Varela and Botond Keresztesi. Miralda explains her choice of artists as follows: “The participating artists were chosen through a long process of consideration. I wanted image-based works that clearly expressed the virtual concept of parallel realities. Botond Keresztesi and Ad Minoliti both reference Modernism and the history of art in a very direct way while mixing other elements to create new landscapes. On the other hand, there is a tension between the realms of image and fiction and those of sculpture and materiality. This is expressed in the text, and also led to the comparison with Julia Varela and Evita Vasiljeva’s heavy sculptural works that all lie on the ground – gravity, in this case, is shown as an opposite to the image in which the laws of physics do not apply. Furthermore, I work very organically; I am always visiting artists and keeping up to date, so the exhibition is also a reflection of the places I have recently been spending time in – Riga, Barcelona, and Berlin. 


“I thought that it would be interesting to put their works together because I don’t think that a single keyword can unite these artists. They are each so different from one another that they weave a more complex narrative into the space when you start to look closely at each piece. In fact, the directors of lítost were shocked when I sent them the text, which was 14 pages of a word document. I could keep writing more about the works now. So maybe the only keyword that unites them is Extra-Planetary Commitment – just because of the exhibition itself.”


Àngels Miralda is a Catalan/American writer and curator. Her curatorial work focuses on the materiality of art production as a working metaphor for contemporary industrial-scale production, as well as its ecological relationship to the economy, the landscape, and natural mythologies. Her writing focuses on political analyses of the contemporary art system.