Signal festival to include Karlín

The sixth edition of the festival of light art will focus on Czech artists

The sixth edition of the Signal festival will run Oct. 11–14 with light art installations by Czech and foreign artists in eight districts in Prague. This time, there are three main festival routes: in the center, in Vinohrady and newly in Karlín. The festival is expecting more than 500,000 visitors this year.

The 24 installations will have 16 from Czech artists and eight from abroad. Most of the works will be in public spaces, lighting up churches, squares, palaces, chapels, orchards and a place of the Vltava river. Five works will be in a Gallery area, accessible to visitors for a fee. The exhibits will be open from 7 pm to 11 pm. The opening ceremony will take place Oct. 11 at 7 pm at Karlínské náměstí.

A video mapping will again be at náměstí Míru, the only location that has been in every festival.

“For the first time this year, the festival chose a common theme, which is a response to the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. … Thanks to this theme, we focused on Czech artists in the program,” festival coordinator Matěj Vlašánek said.

Czech artists include Ivan Kafka, Epos 257, Michal Škapa, Lukáš Rittstein, Pavel Karous and 3dsense. A total of eight visual artists from six countries will also visit Prague.

This year, 21 out of 24 installations are created thanks to financial and production support from Signal, and over the six years of the festival's existence about 100 artistic installations have been created with festival support. “Signal is one of the most prominent producers of new art in our country,” festival director Martin Pošta said.

The routes are more spread out this year to relieve congestion.“Those who prefer more atmospheric sites can visit the so-called satellites: installations outside of the main routes, or the gallery area with installations inside major Prague buildings. The intention of several routes and the installations apart from them was to relieve Prague 1 from crowds, which in recent years had been concentrated in the historical center of the city,” Pošta said.

The route in Karlín has five installations. People in Kasárna Karlín will encounter the 3D audiovisual mapping called Biofilms from the Hotaru Visual Guerrilla studio, which is inspired by the concept of using microorganisms as the basis of building materials. The route also leads to the Hauch Gallery where Swiss artist Zimoun will present a monumental and minimalist work. This installation will be in the gallery for another week after the festival.

Another spot on the route is a projection of the Main Point Karlin building. The Czech art group Hyperbinary will light up its facade with a projection called Wave. Frenchman Romain Tardy returns to Signal after five years with the site-specific installation Future Ruins at Karlínské náměstí.

The central route in Prague offers eight light installations. One of the most interesting is Sky on the Earth by Richard Loskot and UAII Studio, which will bring visitors to the Clam-Gallasovský palác to a cloud directly into the epicenter of a heavy thunderstorm. Unrest by Jana Mercogliano in the Vltava at Alšovo nábřeží will have points of light that are driven by the energy of the underlying water.

Old Town Square, náměstí Republiky, Ovocný trh, the Klementinum and Colloredo-Mansfeldský palác are also included on this route.

The popular route through Prague 2 and 3 will have seven installations including the traditional videomapping at náměstí Míru on the facade of the Church of St Ludmila. This year German creative label presents Nucleus3, which asks visitors what they expect from the future. Sady Svatopluka Čecha has work called 3CZ 1234 by a nonprofit group to bring attention to the plight of caged chickens.

The route also leads to náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad for an exhibit sponsored by Staropramen. Mahlerovy sady, by the Žižkov TV Tower, will have an interactive piece called called Stratum, with layers that react to viewer input. More exhibits will be at Atrium Žižkov, Riegrovy sady and Sokol Vinohrady.

The four satellite exhibits will be at Stalin in Letná, the campus of ČVUT in Prague 6, the bus station at Na Knížecí and in the housing project at Pankrác.

The gallery zone, requiring admission, includes Colloredo-Mansfeldský palác, the Klementinum Mirror Chapel, Clam-Gallasovský palác, the Hauch Gallery and Bar/ák at na Florenci.

The accompanying program includes live music at the Church of St Salvator in a program called Organik, and presentation as the CAMP multimedia space.

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Video on YouTube

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