J.A.R. to open Landscape Festival

Art installations will be in public spaces in three Prague neighborhoods

The sixth edition of the Landscape Festival will present 60 works of art, installations and interventions in public space by Czech and foreign artists.

The festival starts at 4 pm on June 21 with a concert called the Escalation of Good on Vitkov Hill featuring J.A.R., Kapitán Demo, Puding paní Elvisovej and poetry slams with Anatol Svahilec.

The installations and exhibitions will be in place until Sept. 30.

The main theme of the festival is using public space, and it has the subtitle Discover the Prague Wilderness.

Sites whose future is now under discussion were selected for this year's festival: Štvanice ostrov, Rohanský ostrov and Vítkov Hill.

There will be site-specific installations in all three areas and exhibitions relating to architecture.

“I am fond of any initiative that draws attention away from the city center and is beneficial for the development the quality of life of select urban areas. The Landscape Festival is an original concept for the revival of the public space and it brings valuable inspiration,” City Councilor Jana Plamínková (STAN), responsible for infrastructure and the environment, said in a press release.

Artists and architects involved in the project include Kurt Gebauer, Milena Dopitová, Tomáš Vaněk, and studios Woven Studios, H3T and Trevisa +.

The festival is intended to create an alternative tourist route outside of the city center connecting of Holešovice, Karlín and Žižkov, while introducing sites for future social activities.

“One of the festival's ambitions is not only to point to problem spots but also to engage in discussion and to search for new solutions. This urban 'acupuncture' could, with a bit of luck and listening on the part of institutions, initiate positive changes in the body of the city,”organizer Jakub Hepp said.

Dan Merta, the festival's founder and director of Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera, said the festival is interested in drawing attention to not only neglected buildings and sites that should be preserved for future generations but all areas that deserve a sensitive urban approach, with an emphasis on sustainable development. “The attractiveness and quality of the environment is directly dependent on the understanding and connecting its past, present and future,” he said.

The route begins on Štvanice, an island that has a lot of unrealized potential. During the festival, the protected but rundown Fuchsova kavárna will have several exhibitions showing revitalization projects and also the history of Prague's swimming places, including proposals for the future, among other exhibits. There will be site-specific installations on the island.

From Štvanice, visitors can take a ferry to Rohanský ostrov, one of Prague's wilderness areas that is awaiting development. A large part should remain wild as flood protection, though. A tower will provide a view. In another ar,ea there will be a garden with the name Pool on the Second Floor.

There will be an exhibition on public spaces at Karlínské náměstí, with an emphasis on the connection to Vítkov Hill, which is blocked by rail lines but could be made better with a new rail station.

Vítkov Hill itself will have several installations and a temporary sculpture park.

The festival will also bring life to squares in lower Žižkov with a cycle path that leads along the southern foot of Vítkov Hill. A sandy beach will be created at the base of Vítkov Hill near divadlo Ponec, The aim is to connect the hill with the renovated area of Žižkov.

The festival complements the work of Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera, which concentrates on architectural themes. Aside from Prague, the festival has been held in Opava and Plzeň.

For more information visit www.landscape-festival.cz and at www.facebook.com/landscapefestival.

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