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Sep 21, 2016 - Oct 21, 2016 12:00 AM


Czech curators Pavla Sceranková & Dušan Záhoranský launch a new visual arts “game”” played between Prague and New York. Nine prominent Czech based artists contribute work then nine EFA artists react –adding, editing, or intervening, creating new work.



FINAL RECEPTION: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 6-9PM at EFA Project Space, 323 West 39th Street, 2nd Floor

Curated by: Pavla Sceranková and Dušan Zahoranský
Exhibition Assistant: Tereza Jindrová

Artists: Matěj Al-Ali, Keren Bebenisty, Tyler Coburn, David Court, Sean Fader, Kara Hearn, Zebadiah Keneally, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Alena Kotzmannová, Václav Magid, Tomáš Moravec, Freya Powell, Markéta Othová, Elisabeth Smolarz, Magda Stanová, Tomáš Svoboda, Danielle Tegeder, Jiří Thýn

Apparatus for a Utopian Image is no ordinary exhibition. It is a game played between two cities, Prague and New York. The purpose of this game is to investigate how we orient ourselves in today’s image-infused reality. We invite your participation.

Conceived of by artists Pavla Sceranková and Dušan Zahoranský, Apparatus for a Utopian Image borrows from cultural theorist Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, an unfinished visual atlas that maps out how images of great symbolic, intellectual, and emotional power emerge and reappear over time.  While Warburg’s atlas could never be completed, it reflects our collective attempts to grasp reality through imagination, hoping that images will give us meaning and legitimacy. 

Moreover, it suggests that a healthy skepticism toward images is necessary for living a dignified life. Sceranková and Zahoranský’s game seeks to expand on Warburg’s vision in real time.

The game in question launches on Wednesday, September 21st and will change over a five-week span. Using a specially designed installation method that calls for artistic response, the first move will be made by the curators, Sceranková and Zahoranský, who have selected nine prominent Czech-based artists to contribute work representing a ‘fragmented image.’ Next, nine artists from EFA’s community will step in to react – adding, editing, or intervening with new work. Finally, in October, the Czech-based artists will travel from Prague to New York to witness and respond to what has occurred in their absence.

Over the course of the game, gallery visitors will also be given opportunities to respond – for example, proposing titles for artwork, recommending descriptions for wall labels, or suggesting new layouts. The rules of the game are simple: the artists change the content; the viewers change the composition.

There is no way to predict what any of the individual artists will create as responses, or how the audience might intervene. All we can do is offer the framework – the Apparatus for a Utopian Image. Imagine the game as a chance to take control of the image, and to free ourselves from its constraints.


Related Events

Wed, September 21, 6 - 8 PM: Apparatus for a Utopian Image opening reception with curator and New York artists

Fri, October 21, 6 - 9 PM: Apparatus for a Utopian Image closing reception with all curators and artists during EFA Open Studios

Date TBD: What am I Seeing?, a workshop with Reanimation Library founder Andrew BecconeEndFragment

Press inquiries: Meghana Karnik, EFA Project Space Program Manager at meghana@efanyc.org or (212) 563 - 5855 x 244.

Apparatus for a Utopian Image is made possible due to the generous supported of the Ministry of Culture, Czech Republic, and by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Prague, with in-kind support by the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, Czech Center New York, and the Consulate General of Slovakia in New York.

Image courtesy of Markéta Othová 




EFA Project Space, 323 West 39th Street, 2nd Floor, NYC


From: Sep 21, 2016
To: Oct 21, 2016 12:00 AM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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