Artur Magrot: OBĚ-ŽIVO

Gallery  2 / 24. 4. – 27. 7. 2024


Host: Dušan Zahoranský

Curator: Nina Moravcová

Art has a complex relationship with power. On one hand, it can serve as a means of propaganda and maintaining the status quo, while on the other, there is a long history of subversive art that focuses on the critique and deconstruction of dominant ideologies and social norms. Artists employ various tactics and strategies to oppose power – openly, covertly, through symbols and codes, by planning or implementing new social arrangements. These activities, whether termed unofficial, engaged, cryptic, or activist, creatively use power as a source of themes, attitudes, and strategies for their work. These strategies are also the focus of visual artist Artur Magrot’s doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. They also represent the point where his work intersects with that of his teacher and long-time friend Dušan Zahoranský, whom he decided to invite for a dialogue on his latest art project, tentatively titled OBĚ-ŽIVO. In it, Magrot explores the circumstances of the creation of the Czechoslovak crown (1957), into which sculptor Marie Uchytilová “encoded” the portrait of Bedřiška Synková, who was already convicted for leading a scout troop at the time. This coin, with the assistance of state power, became perhaps the largest monument to its own victims. Using artificial intelligence and inserted words/prompts derived from Michel Foucault’s book “Discipline and Punish” (the punished body, power, surveillance, etc.), Magrot transforms the appearance of the original coin (1957-1992). The new coin should meet the parameters of the currently valid ten-crown piece and symbolically re-enter circulation. The exhibition introduces the visitor in a non-violent form to the original “story” of the coin and attempts to update this hidden story for our present day.