The year-long exhibition cycle App Art in Galerie Kontext focuses on how shared user experience with mobile apps is reflected in production of apps with artistic content. The current exhibition pays closer attention to the textual component of apps which is present on multiple levels: texts for the user, texts related to the app operation and texts hidden from the user that ensure communication between the app and sites and other programs. Obvia Gaude by an artist duo Ľubomír Panák & Zuzana Husárová is a rather personal, sensual remediation of a poetic baroque text to a mobile app setting. The Bots of New York, a Facebook bot by the artist(s) Botmin, works with and parodies the famous project Humans of New York by using a neuron site. Furthermore, the app Nomin by Andreas Gajdošík thematizes another textual app level by offering visitors to send an email from an address of one of the famous curators and land, for themselves or for someone else, an exhibit opportunity that is difficult to obtain. Aforementioned approaches are tied in together by the Obsure motif app which reflects the poetics of annoying catchphrases of pop-up windows. It combines it with personal data research and our compulsive need to look for shortcuts in trying to understand each other, be it palm reading or screen reading.
Julia Gryboś and Barbora Zentková form a Polish-Slovakian art duo and are active in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany (Berlin). They used to be focused on painting but in recent years they began working mainly with textiles. They design complex scenic settings and submerge created objects in ambient drone music. The sound accompanying the exhibition was composed by the musician Jan Tomáš. The objects represent metal constructions of assorted shapes that are weaved with yarn which the authors themselves dyed with various kinds of tea. They do so by weaving or macramé, which are both techniques that are mostly regarded as half-forgotten crafts. This interest corresponds with the heightened interest of contemporary artists in materials and techniques such as textiles, ceramics, and glass, that have long been outside the center of attention. Either way, Julia and Barbora work with textiles without the overt retro nostalgia as tempting as it may be. They managed to find their own original concept of utilizing textiles in object production which reflects current socio-critical topics. The site-specific installation in Galerie TIC smoothly builds upon previously adapted themes such as collective fatigue and exhaustion as a result of the dehumanizing conditions of neoliberalism and its constant pressure on performance and productivity. The authors’ interest is in this case focused rather on the consequences of this physical and mental strain, or more precisely on questions related to the release of built-up stress and tension, slowing down and relaxation.
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.