Our TRANSGAS & its children

31/10 – 6/12 2019
opening on WednesdayOctober 30, 2019 at 6 pm

Built between 1972 and 1978 and designed by Václav Aulický, Ivo Loos, Jiří Eisenreich, Jindřich Malátek and Jan Fišer, the building of Transgas in Prague has become a symbol of the era’s turmoil and has aroused strong emotions both when it emerged and during the recent discussion surrounding its demolition.

The authenticity of the emotions – along with their intensity and the scope as well as the antagonism of the shared reactions (such as #SOSBrutalism) – inspired the authors of the exhibition concept to approach one of the members of the original team, an academic architect  and a professor at the Faculty of Art and Design of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Jan Fišer, with an offer to symbolically “resurrect” the interior of the building, mainly in the form of drawings, working sketches, and historic project documentation, with the aim to introduce the contemporary viewers to the context of the techno-optimistic and technicist-brutalist notions at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s.

The perspective of the technical, yet highly aesthetic and also, in a way, fragile and sensitive drawings by Jan Fišer interprets the repeatedly “told” story of buildings that provide eternal inspiration to young generations of architects and designers, of the need to protect as well as to expertly interpret and historically contextualize the key architectonic gems of the second half of the twentieth century, while keeping in mind the political background of the “social normalization” at the same time. For all these reasons, especially the latter one, the exhibition of the drawings by Jan Fišer (as well as works by younger authors), bearing an ambiguous title Our TRANSGAS – and its children, is located in the parterre of the impressive urbanistic premises of the Masaryk’s (the then Fučík’s) street which emerged after the original historical buildings were demolished as part of the era’s politics at the beginning of the 1980s.   

The Our Transgas – and its children exhibition is yet another result of the programme concept of the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts – to react to its new, temporary location in the impersonal and neglected parterre of the deteriorating 1980s houses in the centre of the county town. Blending the hot topics of the subsiding modern art, the painful slumps of collapsing ideologies, the merciless pressure of totalitarian regimes, and the fundamental struggle to meet one’s life goals, the exhibition project adds something uncommon to the specific urban environment of the town while providing the currently degraded atmosphere of the place with a new meaning and significance. 

Curators: Zdena Kolečková a Michal Koleček

Artists: Jan Fišer, Jiří Bartoš, Miroslav Hašek, Silvie Milková, Monsters (Michaela Labudová a Pavel Frič)

→ invitation
→ press release