Miloš Vojtěchovský

accessibility (cc) cz en
artists Miloš Vojtěchovský
place Czech Republic
tags curatorship music sound antropocén ekologie pedagogika art education věda technology
directing Nikola Brabcová
cast Miloš Vojtěchovský, Tereza Jindrová, Barbora Švehláková
camera Nikola Brabcová
sound Nikola Brabcová
editing Nikola Brabcová
interview Tereza Jindrová, Barbora Švehláková
translation Zuzana Rousová
playlists Profiles of Curators
category Profiles
published 5. 7. 2022
duration 0:43:23
language Česky / English
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Below the interview with Miloš Vojtěchovský by Vít Bohal published in Agosto Foundation in 2021 we may read: „Miloš Vojtěchovský does not have a webpage, therefore his curriculum vitae is uncertain and unstable, and gradually changes in time and space.“ This sentence describes the multilayered and elusive character of Vojtěchovský´s intertwining (or consecutive) activities.

The fluidity of his activities makes it impossible to label him one job title: only the names of all the different societies, projects and exhibitions which he initiated or took part in would form a really long list.

The recently published long interview by Tereza Jindrová and Barbora Švehláková for Artyčok.TV also covers only one part of Vojtěchovský´s activities. It deals with early years of his career, his musical engagement with Oldřich Janota in the band Mozart K. and his studies of aesthetics and art history at the Philosopical Faculty of Charles University in Prague in the 1970s.

His studies and early years of his career (described in detail in 2019 in the interview for Paměť národa) already foreshadow the trajectory of Vojtěchovský´s work in the following decades. Music, sounds, visual art, the need to share them and at the same time to connect human and non-human actors and observers across not only the art sphere created a basis, from which a number of other intertwining trajectories of Vojtěchovský´s activities sprung up. All his activities are still directed towards art, curatorship, initiating and organizational activities as well as pedagogical and publishing projects. His thinking across categories, vertically and horizontally – i.e. within social, cultural, technological and environmental networks – is significant of all Vojtěchovský´s activities.

In the interview with Noemi Purkrábková in Art Antiques in 2021 (in Czech only) he speaks about the need „to pull out of those networks and infrastructures and (..) to look at them from the outside and in a critical manner“. At the same time he admits this is difficult because we are always a part of them. Despite this Vojtěchovský constantly tries to critically examine current events and reflect on our daily actions. According to Vojtěchovský, the above-mentioned can be offered by art, which he compares to „aqua regia: it can dissolve, undermine, deconstruct, expose facades, childishness and emptiness of our civilization of advertising and packaging.

(…) Art, which is able to give up on the fair of consumption and entertainment, will help us to see the world with „our own eyes“, to hear with „our own ears“ and to strengthen in us a greater degree of flexibility and resilience.“ (Quote from the interview with Vít Bohal)

Emphasizing our own senses may constantly keep us consciously sensitive towards our surroundings and encourage us to practice our sensitivity. Vojtěchovský has long argued over where inventions can take us and our planet (whatever comes to our mind – machines, technology, science, western tradition of knowledge...), which we use without thinking about the consequences.

He shares a need to constantly revise the media which we use to gain knowledge about our world, he thinks about our abilities to coordinate the interdisciplinary education and about the main tasks of contemporary art. „I believe that the contemporary artists´ task number one is to learn to talk and discuss, think and act transversely. (...) An artist should be able to cope with thoughts of a biologist, a chemist, a bank clerk and a politician.” (Quote from the interview with Vít Bohal)

The need to try, touch, capture, emphasize, visualize and make audible contemporary art, technology and communication (interspecific or interdisciplinary) proves to be essential in Vojtěchovský´s curatorial, art and pedagogical activities.

His organizational and curatorial activities were visible especially in the 1990s. In the 1980s he founded the gallery OKO (1988-1992) in Amsterdam where he lived in 1985-1995. After the revolution he returned to the Czech Republic and took part in several major exhibitions – e.g. The Dawn of the Magicians or Orbis Pictus Revised, which he worked on during his five-year employment in the National Gallery in Prague (1995-2000). Between the years 1992 and 2000 he organized international interdisciplinary symposia and festivals held in the Baroque Monastery in Plasy in cooperation with the Hermit Foundation and the Centre for Metamedia, two independent initiatives which he also founded.

Nearly twenty years later these activities were successfully archived thanks to the Agosto Foundation and the preserved materials can be seen online. In 2000 he became the curator of LABoratoře pro nová média (LABoratories for New Media) in the Centre for Contemporary Art, where he organized workshops, symposia and exhibitions in the Gallery Jelení. He also founded the Radio Jelení (2000-2004) which broadcast different audio-visual projects and media production. The Radio Jelení was followed by the project Lemurie TAZ (2004-2009), which also became an experimental art radio channel and a platform for streaming videos. In 2008 he founded the still-existing platform Sounds of Prague.

He was curator of the program at the Gallery Školská 28 (Communication Space) from 1999 to 2017. Until recently he worked in the Agosto Foundation, focusing on the development of innovative social and cultural programs and promoting interdisciplinary sharing. One of the most resonant activities, bringing together art and environmental issues, is the research project Na pomezí samoty (Frontiers of Solitude) dealing with current issues related to landscape changes, postindustrial society and nature.

In 2020 he co-founded together with Zuzana Pištěková and Kateřina Osecká under the auspices of the Prague City Gallery the project entitled Bio Troja – A Place for Composting Culture. Bio Troja offers a space for Czech and foreign experts and amateurs to meet and work together in the fields of art, music, natural sciences, humanities and ecology.

His recent solo exhibition Census in Display Gallery (2021), which became also his temporary workshop and laboratory, became an important event.

We ought to mention Miloš Vojtěchovský´s editorial and publishing activities. He contributed to several anthologies dealing with sound ecology (e.g. Krajina v pozoru/ Landscape in Focus/ or Zvuk a prostředí /Sound and Environment/). He was the editor of a number of significant publications – in 2020 Vašulkova kuchyňská kniha (Vašulka´s Cook Book) a year later together with Jitka Hlaváčková Zvuky, kódy, obrazy (Sounds, Codes, Images) and with Lloyd Dunn CENSE Almanac: Central European Network for Sonic Ecologies .

He has lectured at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Technical University Brno and at the Center for Audiovisual Studies at Film and Television Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He also co-founded the Intermedia Institute at the Czech Technical University.

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