NJME: Fucker Sam and Sam83 Gallery

Fucker Sam (Sráč Sam) runs Sam83 Gallery in Česká Bříza together with her folks and friends. The gallery was founded in 2006 as one of the projects of The Vision for a New Culture and its Place (1989) conceived by Sam, who started immediately its realization. The scale of the subprojects of The Vision is very wide and it’s not easy to get the whole picture. Surrounding Sam and Sam83 Gallery there sprung up and operates a space for critical and free thinking covering a lot of activities. I follow the origins, meaning and the operation of the space in the first part of NJME.

“The vision for a new culture and its place is an open and complex system of principles consisting of both short- and long-term answers to questions that arose during transformation period. In order to fulfill the hypotheses of ‘the vision’ a live model is created, whereby ‘the vision’ is affirmed and by the virtue of natural automatic conversion of information it remains viable. This model was being created in direct responses to place, political order, not to say social relations during period of twenty years and is expected to go on. … The main idea is to create suitable socio-cultural conditions for an automatic, natural conversion of information and thus ascertain an enduring and compact development of social culture without artificial frameworks.” (Fucker Sam, 1989)

 

Barbora Ševčíková

01 I am Sam

If you were to pick one representative video for Artyčok, which one would it be?
Well, I don’t really know at the moment. We have more than 600 hours of video in our archive. Probably something very compressive.

02 From the interview with Fucker Sam

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4 Windows, Sráč Sam: That went wrong a bit, Klatovy 2010

What was the impulse behind The Vision for a New Culture and its Place?

It was a reaction to the situation back then. I was 19 and I had a two years old child; it was before the revolution and the independent culture wasn’t allowed by the socialist state. I thought I will have to stay forever in the shirt factory. I was trying to find a way out. Then came the revolution and everything changed.

Has it changed somehow? And what would that mean?

At first, it was rather punk, we were doing apartment exhibitions and we didn’t care; we didn’t need a gallery to do it. If someone didn’t like it, he came and told us to beat it. After 1989 it was necessary to find a place for our activities. I had no idea how would all of it work. Wherever you came in 1990 there were still the same people and they asked me about ideas for the future and such stuff, so I think there was a lot of confusion. I was hoping we would be able to do everything freely and the state would provide a just financial support.

But the funding policy and the economy as such, as it has been set up, turned out to be just as inaccessible as under the previous regime. Therefore, we have decided to stick to the plan of “social economics.” Our aim was to make the money on our own, operate cost-effectively, ecologically and socially and thereby secure the sustainability of the Vision. So, I think, nothing has changed.

So you operate without any grant funding?

No, not at all, so far. Probably everybody who has ever tried to make use of it, knows, how exhausting and difficult work it is. Not to mention, you can never be sure you will be given even a part of the money you need. I had a feeling that building our operation like this would make it tumble as soon as we don’t get the funding. I didn’t think it was clever back then and I don’t think it now. Everybody keeps asking about financing, but nobody wants to hear that, above all, you must work hard. Friendships and collaborations are of great importance for me. As in Pižmo, so on earth.

How come you still broaden your activities?

We broaden it, because acting in a certain way you create an environment not just for your own family, but also for your friends and the whole art community.

If some different organization wants to build a house for its residents, those women won’t come and build it, while in our case, I and my husband do build it with our own hands. It’s not some kind of proletarianism. It has always been important for us what’s the idea of the project we put our effort into. How do we go about it. I find it essential to dissolve the uneasiness coming from the directive systems in place.

 So this approach hasn’t changed since you beginnings? Or, what’s your thinking in this matter?

I can’t probably say.
I don’t like a law that tells me to fear a punishment if I don’t abide by some requirement or I don’t fill some spreadsheet.

I believe that people should be trusted; I don’t like threatening at all. Actually, I think that a system built on power rules is unambiguously wrong. I guess I wanted to show that the whole art scene is much friendlier than it appears. I don’t deny one should expect a lot of work behind all of it, but it is possible. For example, the residencies started when I had managed to exchange a hi-fi stereo we got as a wedding gift for a cottage, where we were doing summer symposiums. Everything started there; now we offer it to individual artists so they can stay there.

Why do you do all this and other social projects?

There is a deficiency in the social behavior of the state and individuals. To notice someone beside oneself and take the responsibility for that. We react properly to a mediated suffering, but there is more everydayness to what I have in mind.

03 Fucker Sam: “Now you just must come to our vernissage and live it with us continually…”

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(From left) Małgorzata Łojko (PL), Magdalena Gromadzka (PL) / residential stay AiC Ondřejovice 2011

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Concert of SCHWARZPRIOR, Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2013

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(From left) Edgar, Sráč Sam, Vernissage of EDGAR: Hey Kitty Cat, Can I Ask You Something?, Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2013

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Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2013

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Guys and girls who don´t mind -exhibition view, Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2010

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Concert of Mon insomnie, Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2010

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Children of the Kašperské Hory Orphanage spending weekend in Česká Bříza, 2009

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(From left) Tomáš Pinkas, David Pinkas, Jiří Surůvka, Małgorzata Łojko (PL) / residential stay AiC Ondřejovice 2011

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Jiří Valoch: GA - exhibition view, Sam83 Gallery, Česká Bříza 2011

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(From left) Valentina Lacinio a Valentina Furian / residential stay AiC heARTbreaker, Česká Bříza 2014

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(From left) Jiří Valoch, Jiří Surůvka, Václav Sika, Milan Kozelka, Sráč Sam / residential stay AiC Ondřejovice 2011

04 NJME: Not Just Marginal Entertainments

“Not Just Marginal Entertainments” (NJME) present the situation and standing of various cultural organizations. Beside the big institutions Artyčok deals with intensively and critically, the attention shifts to places that difference in their functioning, activities and financing in common. NJME explore the roles of contemporary institutions, their visions or the lack of them, and the reasons for their operation. They look for changes or, conversely, stagnations and the reasons for them; a stigmatization by past as much as following tradition and history.

 

The original project by Barbora Ševčíková will focus, for example, on a private museum of radios, a graphic design show or an independent gallery. It shall take a closer look at the situation they find themselves in, the ways of their financing, as much as the approaches to the management of a cultural organization. The selection of videos and photographs is left to the individuals in the question and their judgment in presentation of their work.

05 Exhibition credits

Author of the Project / Curator: Barbora Ševčíková
Author of Texts: Barbora Ševčíková
Online Presentation Concept, Editing and Realization: Lenka Střeláková
Translated into English: Palo Fabuš
Published: 25. 2. 2015