Exhibitions

The exhibition by Barbora Šlapetová and Lukáš Rittstein, Manop, Final First, inspired by their repeated travels to West Papua and interactions with isolated tribes in the jungle. The exhibition by Barbora Šlapetová and Lukáš Rittstein, Manop, Final First, inspired by their repeated travels to West Papua and interactions with isolated tribes in the jungle. The exhibition consists of large format photographs by Šlapetová, confronted by a series of Rittstein’s sculptures titled Forest. Café DOX will also present a series of lectures, in conjunction with the exhibition, addressing the relationship of our “civilized world” with isolated tribes, which will introduce the wider context of the project. The exhibition runs from 6 March till 17 May 2009.

Lukáš Rittstein, one of the most prominent Czech sculptors and a Laureate of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award explains why he turns to indigenous communities in the jungle for inspiration: “At the very “end” of civilization, there is a place where you learn the most about yourself. I, a sculptor balancing between reality and abstraction, must admit that I find an area that’s dominated by pure animism extremely attractive for its promise of a great spiritual depth. This is attained via the confrontation of my creative way of thinking with the native way of understanding reality developed by people who, on the other hand, see no boundary separating the natural from the supernatural“.

Part of the exhibition is comprised of quotes taken from interviews of various tribe members, conveying their beliefs about Earth and Space. Some Papuans believe, for example, that Earth is made up of three floors, between which only chosen individuals can travel. Or that animals eyes travel up to the night sky and look down upon Earth. In an effort to initiate a dialogue between our world and the world of traditional societies, Rittstein and Slapetova invited two personas from our modern civilization to be present at the opening, Mr. Leroy Chiao, the first Asian American astronaut (chosen by the artists) and Václav Havel.The exhibition consists of large format photographs by Šlapetová, confronted by a series of Rittstein’s sculptures titled Forest. Café DOX will also present a series of lectures, in conjunction with the exhibition, addressing the relationship of our “civilized world” with isolated tribes, which will introduce the wider context of the project. The exhibition runs from 6 March till 17 May 2009.

Lukáš Rittstein, one of the most prominent Czech sculptors and a Laureate of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award explains why he turns to indigenous communities in the jungle for inspiration: “At the very “end” of civilization, there is a place where you learn the most about yourself. I, a sculptor balancing between reality and abstraction, must admit that I find an area that’s dominated by pure animism extremely attractive for its promise of a great spiritual depth. This is attained via the confrontation of my creative way of thinking with the native way of understanding reality developed by people who, on the other hand, see no boundary separating the natural from the supernatural“.

Part of the exhibition is comprised of quotes taken from interviews of various tribe members, conveying their beliefs about Earth and Space. Some Papuans believe, for example, that Earth is made up of three floors, between which only chosen individuals can travel. Or that animals eyes travel up to the night sky and look down upon Earth. In an effort to initiate a dialogue between our world and the world of traditional societies, Rittstein and Slapetova invited two personas from our modern civilization to be present at the opening, Mr. Leroy Chiao, the first Asian American astronaut (chosen by the artists) and Václav Havel.

Barbora Šlapetová says: “In 2002 we befriended tribal chief Don’t Come Any Closer, and he expressed his wish to talk to our chief. Based on this request we asked Mr. Vaclav Havel, who prepared several questions for the chief. We wanted to show them what we do, our profession, so we decided to cast molds of their bodies. Lukas would then return these casts to the tribesmen after Havel places them inside a sculptural object intended to return to West Papua. This object was then placed on a tree in the jungle and the tribesmen would cut out the cast objects. It became a dialogue between the tribe, Vaclav Havel and ourselves.”

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