Review: Waste Recycling
Václav Jíra's hands-on kinetic art retrospective will put a smile on your face - and the accompanying exhibition of Baťa adverts is delightful too
Overlooking the river is the bright, spacious Mánes exhibition hall, which features two separate show rooms.
In the upstairs gallery at the moment is Václav Jíra's tongue-in-cheek show, which combines kinetic sculptures made from found objects with paintings colorfully illustrating a 2-D jumble of the sculptures' components.
This exhibit screams "fragile" but you're in luck because it's all hands-on.
Jíra's show is a combination of work from the 1960s to the present.
When I arrived at the gallery I was greeted by a cacophony of sounds emanating from the sculptures littered across the floor. I could identify one of those really annoying electronic laughing sounds found in plastic Halloween witches, scratching metal, things banging - an electronic symphony.
Each piece looks frankly useless at first glance, and I suppose that they are, yet I had the eerie sensation that the machines wake up at night, gather in little groups, and create dastardly plans to take over the world.
Then I snapped out of it.
With a watchful eye I continued around the gallery, pressing buttons and stepping on pedals to awaken the creatures. Some of them banged on their own "heads," creating an annoying metallic sound; others were creating masterpieces of art, armed with a brush, ink and canvas.
I couldn't decide between my two favorite pieces: an object made with the innards of a piano, which pounded away at blank sheet music, seemingly frustrated at his writers' block, and a motorcycle, loaded with accoutrements that helped the sculpture create a canvas worthy of critical praise.
Needless to say, a smile was firmly planted on my face the whole time I was in this gallery, and I even laughed out loud a couple of times, but the best thing about the exhibition was that everyone else was smiling too.
Ladies and gentlemen, this isn't a show where you must mope around the gallery with a serious face, not daring to utter a peep. On the contrary, feel free to touch, laugh, comment and have a generally great time looking at contemporary art.
Tomáš Baťa - průkopník reklamy a marketingu v Čechách
("Tomáš Baťa - Pioneer of Advertising and Marketing in the Czech Lands")
Rather unexpectedly, the exhibition of Tomáš Baťa's advertisements downstairs is quite delightful too.
A fair number of posters line the wall and a very interesting historical film about Baťa, his company, and his exploits is a great finish to the show.
The featured posters follow the history of the company from the early 1900s until almost the present day. The poster's designers were careful to follow the trends of their respective era, yet added quirky extras to catch the consumer's eye.
Posters are in various languages, including English, French and Arabic, and all reflect the same bright, colorful style.
Not a bad show to see if you're already at the gallery, but don't go out of your way to catch it.
Waste Recyling and Tomáš Baťa - Pioneer of Advertising and Marketing in the Czech Lands are at Mánes until Friday, May 5th, 2006
Video on YouTube
Czech-Chinese dance work to premiere at Archa by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Divadlo Archa)
Ordinary People finds similar life stories in dancers from different countries
Festival Spectaculare starting fourth edition by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The multi-genre festival will bring electronic and ambient music and more
Dave Johns will be live in Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The British comedian will be at a downtown movie theater for one show only
Slav Epic seen by 400,000 by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague City Gallery)
Cycle of paintings will now go to Asia for a tour
The Cremator by Národní Divadlo - The Estates Theatre
Spalovač mrtvol (orig. Czech titel) by Ladislav Fuks
Paintings of Havel open at DOX by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Martin Polák)
A new cycle of 10 paintings by Tomáš Císařovský chronicle the late president's life
Kids Riot as a Surrealist Reflection of Today’s Society by Marya Oliynyk - Anglo American University (Foto: Fotograf Gallery)
Permanent Transformation @ Fotograf Gallery, until 17th of December
Prague 7 seeks to be an art district by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Továrna)
A new plan will encourage cooperation among institutions
Three Tales @ The New Stage by National Theatre Opera (Foto: Hana Smejkalová)
by Beryl Korot & Steve Reich
Giant airship installed over Prague's DOX Centre by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Dox - FB)
Wooden zeppelin named Gulliver is a place for art and literature discussion
... the real luxury is actually waiting for you on your...
Your cheapest calls home!
Become a Good Angel!
Get discounts on speed dating and meet other singles...
First diamonds museum in Prague
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády