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29 Sep 2018 - 17 Nov 2018

Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride

In Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride, table–like horizontal surfaces are inset with abstracted forms which mutate from cell structures, micro-organisms or insect's internal organs, within a biosphere of variable proportions. This unknown micro–macro space is the ground into which the artist plants a web of symbolic citations, from tradition, mythology and history.

Hulačová's visual language is expressed through her work's materiality: cement surfaces of varying textures are applied to underlying sub-structures; smooth planes of cement, or inset aluminium and paper panels are drawn on with flowing lines of graphite pencil; honeycomb and other natural materials are imbedded within forms' internal chambers; flesh-like and waxy surfaces are formed from complex polymers.

Hulačová's repurposes Czech visual culture through the 20th Century to create an imagined cultural representation of the world we find ourselves in today. Hulačová's borrows from and updates the tropes and subjects of soviet-era sculpture, the country's post-war spirit of the future and 1950's agricultural collectivisation. In Graceful ride Hulačová taps into paradigms of representation in past, present and future, sometimes quoting directly from sculpture history, at other times more loosely.

Insect physiology, sexual habits and collective dynamics are a common thread through Graceful ride, particularly in relation to human society. Without mechanics around it, a stripped out engine is transforming into an insect form; industry becoming integrated as part of an organic whole. In an inset, two dragonflies gleefully mate – insects who combine their bodies during intercourse to create a single eight-winged flying entity. A high relief frieze depicts bee-keepers, taking over the grand gestures of Soviet heroes. The insect is represented as an industrialised worker, the worker integrated into an organic system.

Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride will be accompanied by a small reader to be released after the opening, including texts by Thomas Cuckle and Nils Alix-Tabeling. The exhibition is supported by Czech Centre LondonTecho | Royal Ahrend; and Hunt Kastner, Prague. Exhibition will continue until 17 November 2018.



The Insect Play – read by The Political Animal
Saturday 17 November, 7.30pm 
To accompany Anna Hulačová's Graceful ride, Kunstraum is collaborating with The Political Animal to produce a public reading of The Insect Play – written in 1921 by Josef and Karel Čapek – within the exhibition and activated by dynamic sound and lighting. Hulačová has produced a series of insect masks for the event to be worn by the readers.

Poetry reading and publication launch
Tuesday 20 November,  7–9pm
An evening of poetic responses to Anna Hulačová: Graceful ride, curated by Camille Bréchignac. The readings will span themes of insect eroticism, creativity, and political organization, incorporating Czech poetry, machinery, and political revolutions. Nils Alix-Tabelings newly commissioned text La Lactation des Naïades will also be read on the night.
If you would like to volunteer to read one of the selected texts on the night please email info@kunstraum.org.uk

One-day contemporary dance workshop: The Hive Minuet
Saturday 1 December, 11am – 6pm
Workshop fee: £25
A full day contemporary dance workshop led by choreographer and professional dance coach Adrian del Arroyo, following his ongoing work The Hive Minuet, alongside dancers from the cast of the work. This is an opportunity for beginner level dancers to take a one-day course at a great price and experience The Hive Minuet from the inside.
Write to info@kunstraum.org.uk to reserve a space. A number of discounted places will be available for the unwaged.


Part of czech100, a festival of exciting cinema, theatre, visual arts, design and music celebrating the Czech Republic’s centenary (28 October - 9 December 2018).






Kunstraum, 21 Roscoe Street, London EC1Y 8PT


From: 29 Sep 2018
To: 17 Nov 2018


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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