Topography of Hope – Crystallized

Ústí nad Labem House of Arts
Klíšská 979/129

This exhibition project offers a wide variety of views of the current society in contrast to history, especially to the critical 1968. The works were created by artists studying and teaching at the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.
Current situation in politics and society is frequently called the crisis of democracy. Our society went through multiple crises in our history, such as 1968, 50 years ago. Heroes arose in such times – people who fought for the suppressed democracy with small gestures or large steps. Their actions were the results of crystallised personalities in the times of non-democratic oppression. We are on a lookout for these heroes even now, where other form of pressure exists. What does it mean to be a hero today? What does it mean to be an individual in our world? We are witnessing overall decrease in the peoples’ trust in democracy. Political, economic and cultural systems of traditional liberal democratic states transform, not only in the former communist countries. This transformation manifests in extremism, centralisation, radical far-right, putinism, erdoganism, or listening to populist speeches of politicians. The current ideological foundation of the above mentioned issues integrates neonationalism and xenophobia in our society. Traditional human values, such as good will, solidarity, altruism, or community service, no longer fit the guidelines of everyday life. We view these issues asking ourselves: How do people perceive the values above? How do they cope with the transformation? What are the guidelines of the new generation? How could one take the responsibility for the society and the community and their future into their own hands?

h Alexandra Naušová, Simona Patelisová, De-formation, 2018, performance, improvised sugar object, photo by Jiří Dvořák