Prague, May 5 – June 20, 2021, https://futuraprague.com
My first impression of this exhibition was like walking into an empty space. There was some art, but somehow scattered, and not that self-explaining. I passed through the whole show, and somehow could not get it. After the show, back home, I read through the curatorial text. And I got it. This exhibition took place in the head of the curator (Cedric Fauq). The artistic artefact in the space were in fact more like an illustration of some of the ideas hidden in his head.
The ideas that went through my head when seeing an exit sign turned upside down, a torn towel mounted on a flagpole-like structure or a glass of water surrounded by salt crystal were simply very different from those that Fauq described in the curatorial text.
I felt a bit sorry for the artists – Kobby Adi, Tony Cokes, Kevin Desbouis, Natacha Donzé, Rhea Dillon, Ella Finer, Jason Hendrik Hansma, Monika E. Kazi, Joshua Leon, Olu Ogunnaike, Stanley Schtinter, Oliver Tirré and Abbas Zahedi.
For those who wonder what the Fauq was thinking – his concept revolved around the coercive power of governments to control fires, both in a direct as well as in a metaphorical sense (fire bullets at people, control/extinguish the fire for change in people´s hearts).
As the curatorial text was so important, a catalog (if there will be any) with an extended text would probably be a more suitable format for this show than its physical presence. That said, it was not a bad show, in hindsight it all makes sense. I just should have read the instruction manual first.
By the way, the formatting of the exhibition booklets at Futura has a very nice design in a small pocket book format and two-column layout.