Sculpture Line again and again and differently each time
The traditional sculpture project SCULPTURE LINE will expand beyond the borders of the Czech Republic again this year. It will be launched at the end of June with the opening of Kurt Gebauer's works at Prague's Charles Square.
It has become a good habit that a new year of this sculpture project in public space starts in June, and it is the same this year. Once again, adventurous, surprising and revelatory encounters with contemporary sculpture await interested and informed viewers and casual passers-by. The project is still evolving and, it should be noted, transforming. It is no longer just a seasonal affair from early summer to early autumn; it is a year-round activity, with many of the sculptures and sculptural pieces remaining part of the chosen site for many months and years. And it happens that the popularity of a given sculpture grows to such an extent that it becomes a permanent part of a place, a square, a park.
But year-round activity isn't the only transformation of Sculpture Line. The project is deepening its collaboration with foreign countries, both with individual artists and institutions. "This year, we focused on Germany, whose artists, such as Johannes Pfeiffer, have been regularly and long-standing participants in the festival, but this is now an exceptional display of their special collection and the culmination of their participation in the project in the Czech Republic," says founder Ondřej Škarka.
Under the title Verbindung - Connection, the Sculpture Line is part of a large-scale presentation of large-scale works by Václav Fiala, organized by the Kunstverein Hochfranken Selb in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria and in our region of Karlovy Vary. The West Bohemian sculptor Václav Fiala is one of the pillars of the Sculpture Line festival's activities, his generous and form-firm sculptures are among the most interesting in Czech art today.
"Cooperation with foreign countries also presents us with new challenges and opportunities. One of them is the quadrilateral or quadri-state project for young talents RE-USE PROJECT with the programme The Role of Art - Sculpture in the Context of Sustainable Behaviour, in which artists, curators, architects, designers and social and environmental scientists from Iceland, Italy, Slovakia and the Czech Republic participated in the form of project preparation and a special Hackathon workshop. After all the projects have been evaluated by an international jury, the best ones will appear in public space in three outdoor locations, namely in Kópavogur, Iceland, Venice, Italy, and in Ústí nad Orlicí, northeastern Bohemia. Last but not least, we are also focusing on a retrospective exhibition of sorts, an outdoor exhibition of the legend of Czech sculpture Kurt Gebauer. This long-time teacher at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Prague has also been an integral part of the festival for many years, so we are pleased to be able to present him in a broader context thanks to the exhibition at Bastion in Prague's Charles Square. The exhibition of his work ranges from Gebauer's famous Dwarfs to his latest projects. However, the collaboration with other renowned sculptors, such as Michal Gabriel or Lukáš Rittstein, continues," Ondřej Škarka further introduces the paths that the project is taking.
The ninth edition of Sculpure Line will offer encounters with art in a number of Czech cities, including Ostrava, Olomouc, Zlín, Broumov, Mikulov, Beroun, Aš, Davel, Pardubice, Hradec Králové, Pilsen, Vratislavice nad Nisou, Ústí nad Orlicí and Dolní Břežany.
As can be seen from this year's activities, the organizers have decided to focus on several large projects that allow for a deeper collaboration with individual artists, whether it is the selection of works or their placement in given locations. They have also extended their attention to the youngest generation, whom they not only want to enable and facilitate their entry into the artistic process, but whom they also encourage to actively create. The production of large sculptures, objects and sculptural works is neither easy nor cheap, so close cooperation with young artists in particular is a guarantee that public spaces will not be depleted in the future. The basic priority of the project is to help the creators of classical sculptures and objects that surround us in the Czech Republic and abroad.
This year's Sculpture Line will be launched at the end of June with the opening of Kurt Gebauer's works under the title "KURT ON THE BASTION" in the unique environment of the Prague Bastion.
About the project
The sculpture project SCULPTURE LINE is the largest event in the Czech Republic that promotes the symbiosis of sculpture and public space. Sculpture Line is a long-term art project that expands the cultural and artistic potential of a given location by installing sculptures in public space. It brings emotions to the site, gives it a new face and shows new contexts. Its basic idea is to bring contemporary art closer to everyone without distinction and to help socialise public space. The project does not focus only on city centres and busy places; instead, installations outside the main arteries make it possible to create new optical landmarks and to enliven lesser-known places. The artworks communicate directly with passers-by, leaving an aesthetic and social footprint, and directly improving the quality of life of city dwellers and visitors. The Sculpture Line project is part of the activities of the ArtLines institution, which focuses on the visual arts.
The first edition of the project took place in Prague in 2015 and was initiated by the artists themselves, who felt a natural need to take their works out of the more or less sterile gallery environment and offer them to a wide audience in an easily accessible form. The "S" Line, an urban art route that takes the visitor through its stations in the form of individual installations, was thus created. In the past years, the sculpture The Reader in a Chair at Old Town Square by Jaroslav Róna has attracted attention in Prague, as have Explorers by Michal Gabriel, the giant Octopus floating on the Vltava River by Viktor Paluš, and the installation by the Turner Prize-winning British sculptor Tony Cragg at Republic Square.
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