Reports

Entrance Gallery bears its indelible mark of being premises unsuitable for showing contemporary art. Its architectonic layout is far too dominating and disconcerting when compared with conventionalised conditions for perceiving works of art. The prototype of a white cube – still a valid ideal of any exhibition practice – and a former orangery situated in the middle of a park with a view of a neighbouring Baroque monastery are miles apart. The presumable neutral, right-angled, white space has been criticised in art theory as well as in practice since the 1970s. Although there were efforts to design authoritative exhibition premises in the 1990s and at the turn of the millennium, we keep coming back to the white cube. What does the model of neutrality actually mean? Extraction? Isolation from the surrounding context? Or preservation that Brian O’Doherty assimilated in his book Inside the White Cube to an old Egyptian tomb?
We analyse the problem using psychological comparison. Human mind has the tendency to isolate itself into a specific contextual vacuum at the times of big problems and turnabouts in life. That is in situations that are milestones of the entire history of psychoanalysis and its ambition to eliminate such isolation and penetrate the very core of the problem. Our exploration is carried out inversely, instead of opening Entrance Gallery, we close it, turning it into a temporary white cube, a precious model of the desired exhibition space. However, all is but a temporary stage set. In these architectonically “asymptomatic” conditions we present works by Czech and foreign artists that were created during complicated stages of their lives. We do not aim at morbid accentuation of specific painful situations or literally psychologising interpretation of their works. Events during which (or on the basis of which) the works were made remain concealed. A viewer may only assume what circumstances accompanied the genesis of each of them. The exhibition thus has its psychological dimension as a whole: neutral space full of unuttered emotions. Therefore, the core of the problem lies in revealing isolation only in the viewer’s mind.

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