What does it mean that contemporary art and related art activities should be sustainable? What does it mean not only in terms of protecting our environment but also with view to financial sustainability and naturally, also as an active effort of institutions not to cause harm, divide society, abuse privileges of visibility and also to act in favour of the whole? What can be done for everyone to have his or her own place where they can express freely what they feel, experience and wish? It might sound as fiction now or as a picture from a Utopian cultural civilization. However, we may say that such an exhibition institution both does and does not exist. It does not exist in the sense that we could simply tick off items from a list. It does exist in the sense that somebody is thinking about it, is thinking about the conditions and problems of such a fairytale-like establishment and gradually tries to put the principles of maximum sustainability (as we may call such an attempt) into collective practice. But here comes Display. I mean the other one – Display, Association for Research and Collective Practice, which arouse like Phoenix from the ashes of Tranzitdisplay, and where fiction meets reality, body meets technology and a clear vision meets a prosposal „let´s at least try it“.
However, many heads do not necessarily form a united team and so even in Display curators focus on different issues.
Zbyněk Baladrán together with Zuzana Jakalová devoted their attention to a series of exhibitions entitled Class Struggle in Three Acts. They focus on showing unequal positions, individual members of society start, act, make friends and form alliances.
Zuzana Jakalová together with Hana Janečková deal with feminist approaches towards the body and psychological, health and generally institutional care of ourselves. Their series is called Multilogues on the Now (since 2017) and both curators find the strengthening of what they call coalition important, i. e. relations that do not spring from purpose but from benefit. Ideally for everyone involved. Hana Janečková has long been involved in strategies by which works of art, including the moving image, deal with identity (Colour Eating, 2020), its definition or, conversely, confirmation. In the video she describes her curatorial approach as an attempt to “go for representation”, in other words: to include whole, contradictory, imperfect, beautiful and perfect human beings in negotiations regarding the future form of our world.
Lukáš Likavčan has focused for a long time on the role of technology in the form virtuality (Technologies of the Sacred, 2020) or platforms which are increasingly influening our possibilities, abilities and experiences. Last but not least, they allow us to convey this video, for example, to many people outside our quarantine bubble.
Respirators and face masks, which members of the Association for Research and Collective Practice – Display wear during the interview, refer to mutual concern for others, to care, which may sometimes involve our own discomfort, but on the other hand it means relief for someone else elsewhere. But protective face masks make the speakers look very serious and without emotions. It is above all emotions and physically experienced life experience, or rather the process of their visibility and highlighting as equal arguments in social discussions, that form one of the common themes in Display´s activities.
It builds its practice of creating a space (physical and mental) on these foundations (and will probably do even more in the future), where art and the institution itself are a means of thinking about a more sustainable functioning of society as a set of collectives.