East Contemporary

City Gallery Prague: Lukas Machalicky “Eclecticism Hour”

Prague, Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, May 29 – September 1, 2019, http://www.ghmp.cz

A conceptual-minimalist exhibition that featured 3D scans of specific parts of the interior printed out as large framed photographs installed next to the real parts of the interior scanned.

Additionally, a room was almost closed off with a high white wall with a little hole inside. The visitors could hear the noise of a model train engine running around a model train track. At one split-of-a-second moment the red train engine passed in front of the little hole: a fleeting moment of excitement.

The minimalist interventions into the maximalist and overwhelming atmosphere of the crumbling rococo palace interiors were pleasant and I think Machalicky managed to find a good balance.

Afterwards, I was quite shocked when I found out that each of the exhibition pamphlets was personally signed on the (white) front page with a thick blue marker, probably by Machalicky himself. The shock came from the fact that it meant each pamphlet was an “original”, but I just used it as a holder for my wet tea cup (and that made me realize that the ink smudges when it touches water). Similarly to the interventions in the exhibition space, it was a barely noticeable gesture, creating a surprise when discovered. It caused a similar feeling like the discovery that the content of the prints in the exhibition is the same as the wall/door next to it, just in a different form. In the case of the signature the relationship was reversed: Something that was expected to be a copy was an original.

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