Review: Prorok radostí - Dělnik umění

Czech contemporary artist Ivan Vosecký's latest Karlín Studios show lacks inspiration, creativity and effort - but the opening party was fun

Ivan Vosecký - Prorok radostí - Dělnik umění
("A Prophet of Joy - A Workman of Art")

Hooray for dirty art parties!

At least that's what I think I witnessed at the opening for Ivan Vosecký's new show at Karlín Studios.

Warm beer, boxed wine, something like a rock band, and a charming assortment of artists, revelers and groups of sad looking men that just wanted to pick up women. Exactly what I look for in a party!

But seriously, the space itself is large and perfect for displaying art or for hosting killer parties. The problem is that I don't think Vosecký had enough time to prepare for this show. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here, since the art was pathetic at best.

Newspaper cutouts or bits of trash were sloppily pasted over various surfaces, next to over-used clichés. Unwanted, mangled toys littered the room along with other items of questionable validity.

Perhaps the most engaging thing about this show was the inebriated girl who writhed on the floor, in a rather dangerous manner, in time to the cutest little rock band - a group that sounded like they picked their guitars for the first time that evening. Pure genius!

The art in this show, produced by the same Ivan Vosecký that elicited controversy in Berlin in 2004, exhibiting a sign that read Kill Them All, is quite simply not reflective of his ability.

Karlín Studios, when it opened last year, in conjunction with the recently disappointing Futura gallery, emphasized the "invitation only" status of their warehouse studio space and their strict selection criteria.

If this is true, then we should expect to see a higher caliber of art gracing the walls of the gallery. If this is what the cream of contemporary Czech artists has to offer then perhaps they should hang their heads in shame.

Don't get me wrong - I love art parties as much as anyone else, especially when there's cheap beer involved. But considering the range of artist represented by this studio it would be nice to see some inspiration, creativity or as least an ounce of effort in the work they display.

Don't go see this show for the art; wait until the next opening and come for the cheap drinks.

Prorok radostí - Dělnik umění is at Karlín Studios until Sunday, May 14th, 2006.

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