LocationCeske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Text description provided by the architects. Another exhibition for this year's season is a project by architect Jan Šépka, with which we want to offer not only the opportunity to experience and perceive the environment gallery and the square within the set of architecture exhibitions a bit differently, but mainly to present a series of questions and to open issues concerning not only art and architecture as such, but above all the perception of the city – a location as part of everyday life.
This exhibition is not only based on artistic architectural interventions as such, but will also be supplemented, every Tuesday from 6:00 pm with the attendance of guests from the range of experts, artists, architects, and politicians, by a series of lectures and discussions for the public on topics related to the history and present of the town square and its use, as well as to the relationship of contemporary art and architecture.
The project is a reflection on what we consider to be an important part and dominating feature of public space, and how we perceive certain hidden spaces that provide us with social and cultural activities.
The Baroque Samson Fountain, located on the Přemysl Otakar II Square in České Budějovice, is one of the largest of its kind in the country and represents a significant landmark and symbol of the city. Its artistic quality is indisputable, and currently none of us can imagine the square without this landmark. The question may be, however, whether today we perceive such landmarks only involuntarily. We walk past them every day, and since their value is confirmed both in history and in space, we no longer think about the nature of the monument nor of its relationship to the grandiose square.
Conversely, the spaces on the first floor of the House of Art, which in recent years have offered very high quality artistic experiences, are blurred before our eyes. A visitor unaware of the situation will be hard pressed to find the gallery. It is clear that some form of confidentiality can also be an advantage to a gallery space, nonetheless, the experience from the exhibition and any discussion about art and culture disappear from our normal daily repertoire.
The project attempts to show how we perceive, or do not perceive, the landmarks and hidden places that are not far apart and which are located in the center of events and offer the opportunity for cultural experiences. The purpose should be to break down our stereotypical perceptions of these values and to awaken a desire for reflection and discussion on these topics.
For about a month, the Samson Fountain will find itself in a circular space that on one hand will separate it from the square and, on the other, create a quiet background and intimacy for it that this landmark has never had. The Fountain will thus become like a jewel in a gallery. The circular space will be directly connected to the stairs with the space on the first floor of the House of Arts, where the circle will appear again, but in other contexts. Visitors to the gallery will be able to move only along a defined circular path and will not actually reach the open space of the gallery. The visitor will only perceive the space through the ceiling, which will not be installed in the indoor promenade. The deliberate theft of the fountain and highlighting the entrance to the Art House through the window is the entire purpose of the project. Things that are seemingly unrelated enter into an interesting confrontation. (J. Šépka)