The word wee is a Scottish equivalent of the English little. The title A Wee Bit of Heritage reflects an effort to little peek into the cultural heritage of a northern town Wick with a population of almost nine thousand people. The town was a strategic location for fishing and also the main port for the north of Scotland. That situation has, however, changed in recent years: herrings had been gone for decades, hunting crabs is no longer as profitable as it used to be, the nuclear power plant is shut down and one of the few things that does work and is attractive for tourists is the distillery, nuclear archive, and The Wick Heritage Museum. The museum is managed by voluntaries of all generations and every city resident knows it well and visits it at least once a year. The legacy of the place is carefully preserved in collections of objects, photos and trinkets in vitrines or fill entire rooms and are accompanied by often not working videos and by the omnipresent air fresheners. The drive with which the voluntaries work to preserve their own history is moving and overpowering. Anna Tesařová prostřednictvím explores in the lyrical documentation of the museum the power of pictures and the desire not to be forgotten.
Markéta Wagnerová most often engages with performance, film and music with a trademark dose of ironic humor. Delicate Beauty of Apple Trees is an exhibition project spread between Galerie mladých and CIT cinema. It introduces a story of Markéta’s literary alter-ego, Amadeus Plankton, who writes C-rated prose and even worse poems. His first book, Delicate Beauty of Apple Trees, is a lesbian drama seen through the eyes of the four actors in the story, and The Screaming Horror of Decayed Orchards could be described as an erotic zombie horror with a touch of fantasy in the style of J.K. Rowling. Amadeus Plankton’s literary works are inspired by apple orchards and farms in Kent, where he goes on annual picking jobs with other students and graduates of the arts and humanities. Through documentary photographs, audiobooks and music video clips or video essays, he ironically comments on the everyday life of artists and intellectuals in their role as Eastern European day laborers.
In the context of the climate crisis, my generation was already born in the skin of a slow-cooked frog, but it was not until the covid pandemic and the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war that our self-image was fully shattered. The ensuing shock and disillusionment have caused a definitive erosion of our supposedly fundamental values of rationality and humanism, and call for the need to redefine them. In the works of the emerging generation of artists, this reassessment is manifested in particular by a turn towards their countervalues: towards romanticism, spirituality, or the quest for the equal status of all members of the planetary community.