Milan Mikuláštík (*1975) can hardly be defined solely as a curator. He is well- known above all as a distinctive artist, member of the duo MINA (together with Jan Nálevka) and the group Guma Guar, which he co-founded in 2003. His cooperation with this group as well as his own works – often critical and dealing with political structures of the globalized world – later lead to a similarly focused curator´s work. While the group Guma Guar often outspokenly expressed its opinion on visual symbols, shortcuts and features in public space and to media reality, the artistic duo MINA focused mostly on ironic photo scenes, which in line with action artists of the 1960s, captured paradoxes of contemporary society.

Milan Mikuláštík began studying at the Faculty of Arts in Brno (1994-1995) in the Studio of Conceptual Art of Peter Rónai and then at the Academy of Arts in Prague (1996 – 2002) in the Intermedia Studio of Milan Knížák, in the Studio of Visual Communication of Jiří David and, finally, in the Studio of New Media of Michael Bielický. He started working as a curator in the gallery NoD (2008-2009 where he curated exhibitions of individual artists and since 2009 he has been working in the gallery of the National Technical Library (NTK). It was here where he gradually created a characteristic space, for which he often prepares group exhibitions with a major theme that often reflects his interest in critical, socio-political subjects. For instance the first exhibition which he curated here was called Body Limits and dealt with the boundaries and shapes of the body in the material, psychological, social, political or technological contexts.

Some of the exhibitions which Milan Mikuláštík curated in the National Technical Library were obviously engaged (e.g. Velocypedia supporting everyday cycling or Xenofilia reacting to growing xenophobia in contemporary Czech and Slovak society), others dealt with broad theoretical themes ( Homo mathematicus or SPOT dealing with the topic of representation in contemporary art). Another important theme, which is closely connected with Mikuláštík´s own art work, is institutional criticism together with an analytical view of the conditions of origin and presentation of art (exhibitions Contemporary Czech Painting, One of the Possibilities, Side Job – exhibiting works by custodians and the gallery´s fellow workers etc.) Mikuláštík often turns to the theme of architecture and urbanism, mainly in relation to the society-wide context, which resonates with the gallery´s location in the progressive building of the National Technical Library designed by the Studio Projektil.

In the past few years Milan Mikuláštík mainly focused on presenting the work of the contemporary young generation and art works – which we got used to labeling as post-internet or post-digital (group exhibitions Generation Smart or Hypebeast Vertigo). This interest may be partly attributed to the fact that since 2015 Mikuláštík has also worked as an assistant in the Supermedia Studio.

Anna Remešová

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