Days of Unearthing
May 25 – August 19, 2022; Czech Center Vienna, Herrengasse 17, 1010 Vienna
Opening: May 24, 2022 at 6 pm

A group exhibition with students from painting departments of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design Prague (UMPRUM) and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Participating artists: Sara Bojovic, Lucie Brskovská, Sarah Buhmann, Juliana Castaño, Kaleb Christian, Léo Coignaud, Frank Daubenfeld, Naomi Shintani Deibel, Markéta Dočkalová, Šimon Dub, Marie Fidesser & Marei Buhmann, Yaël Fidesser, Christian Gailer, Nicolas Garaj, Ann-Sophie Ghering, Jorinna Girschik, Elena Altaba Herrán, Anna Holínská, Lizaveta Hrydziushka, Anna Kazantseva, Šenay Kobak, Masha Kovtun, Bety Krňanská, Yoon A Lee, Nikola Kopp Lourková, Alex Macedo, Dimitrij Mandzyuk, Chattip Metchanun, Sebastian Mittl, Barbara Novorodá, Ei Ozawa, Tamara Pauknerová, Radim Pergl, Leonie Plattner, PoL..., Emil Puchner, Matěj Racek, Sara Roeth, Sofie Fatouretchi Royer, Ludovico Scalmani, Hanna Schmidt, Marcia Schmidt, Vannesa Schmidt, Lucia Schwemer, Lukáš Šmejkal, Martina Staňková, Marielena Stark, Evgeny Tantsurin, Lavanya Thakur, Daniil Tsvetkov, Selana Ayşe Türgen, Evelyn Vonesch, Lisa Maria Wirzel, Antonie Zichová

Starting in high spring and reaching toward vivid summer, the Czech Center in Vienna has become a contrasting time capsule of different journeys. The new rooms, corners and compartments are lenses for catching sight of the stages that these wanderings have passed through. And you, our dear visitor, are welcome to orient yourself throughout these scenes with the help of the map in your hands. Begin the quest, find sensible differences and ephemeral bonds throughout this agglomeration of perspectives and individual abstractions. In case you find yourself too disoriented, feel free to consult the Atlas of Unearthing to restart your journey.

The exhibition is an accumulation of fragments, mementos and evidence of particular adventures, journeys, or quests which have been investigated by the artists. The unfolding of these different parts within the Czech Center has been carefully considered so as to allow each visitor enough space to form her own understanding.

A work of art can be perceived as a remnant of a specific period: it can be understood as an artifact that is part of a certain process or as a result of that process. What can be seen in the Czech Center in Vienna, is an interplay of these two situations. The art artifacts of the two painting departments (lead by Jiří Černický in Prague and by Henning Bohl in Vienna) create a time capsule, in which these are perceived as relics of an era and where the groups themselves become „relics“ of a young generation of contemporary artists working in Central Europe.

The link that connects the exhibited relics is the Atlas of Unearthing, a book created by the students of both classes. The Atlas serves not only as a complementary guide or catalog of archival data to the exhibition itself but also as its own relic, which will remain a material residue (an actual relic of a specific time).

The group exhibition is thus divided into two thought-spaces: the cellar (underground) containing the Atlas (inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin, who retells the story of human origin by redefining technology; that is, no longer weapons like the spear, but carrier bags are of decisive importance) and the main exhibition space which is presented on three levels of immanence: separation; initiation; descent and return. Despite being based on Joseph Campbell's fantasy of the monomyth (the so-called „hero’s journey“), these stages frame relics of various paths with a scope that overcomes the normative heroic perspective. Like this, we want to focus on an examination of today's heterogenous micro odysseys and its inherent contradictions.

Text: Eva Slabá and Daniel Hüttler

Curated and initiated by Eva Slabá and Daniel Hüttler
Graphic design: Winona Hudec
Exhibition architecture: Martin Eichler

The exhibition is based on a cooperation of Eva Slabá and Daniel Hüttler, Czech Center in Vienna, and the painting departments of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.