Reports

Rafani: The illusion of cohesion

“Imagine that we live in a harmonious society in which we respect each other.”

Rafani was the only art collective in the history of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award to attend its finals twice, in 2004 and 2006. From 20th to 24th October 2006, members of the collective prepared hot meals and drinks in front of the Brno House of Arts which they were offering to passers-by. Rafani used the House of Arts only as a backdrop and source of electricity for the cooking room. No traditional works of art or documentation were made available to the organisers and they did not enter the exhibition space at all. During the opening, they distributed spray paints to local Roma children and instructed them to spray colored wheels on the gallery wall.

Since their formation in 2000, the collective has occupied a specific position on the Czech art scene with its controversial projects that draw attention to social traumas and taboos in a clever and often provocative way. They address topics such as collective memory and guilt, morality and responsibility in a committed and concrete way. Their activities are mainly in the field of performance and social interventions, but they also create installations, video essays and films. The Rafani collective regularly exhibits in both Czech and foreign contexts.

About Jindřich’s model project
Since 2019 is the year of the 30th Jindřich Chalupecký Award, the organisers decided to look back into the award’s distant past and remind the audience of some art projects from the first 20 years of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. The selection is focused on works that in the context of their creation were particularly stimulating and progressive, yet at the same time promise an interesting reinterpretation in their current context.

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