VALS: Jiří Žák, Consensual Hallucinations and Poetic Investigation

Jiří Žák graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and works for Artyčok TV.  In 2015 he became a laureate of the EXIT award and in 2020, he became co-holder of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. His works have been shown at art biennales in Kiev, Warsaw and Prague.

As an artist, Jiří Žák works mainly with moving images and video installations, in which the research component usually blends with the poetic line and the form of narration.

He is interested in how grand narratives and collective identities are created and how they are maintained in society. In his work, he constantly tries to create a contra-stories towards consensual hallucinations for example such as the mythos of a national identity.
In the lecture, Žák will elaborate on an ongoing project which is based on his long-term artistic research regarding the Czechoslovak and Czech weapon industry. Military materials were important Czechoslovak commodities, which were exported to various parts of the world during the 20th century.
With the rise of the Communist Party government in Czechoslovakia in 1948, there was a turn in this area towards cooperation with fraternal socialist regimes. The Syrian Arab Republic stood out of a long line of these friendly states in the framework of trade cooperation. The first contract with Czechoslovakia was signed in the second half of the 1940s and this bond lasted till the year 1991. Although the core of the relationship was a weapon export to Syria, there was much more of a mutual influence going on, for example on the level of education, culture or simply basic human relations.
Showcase examples of this research will be Žák’s loose trilogy of short films called Epilogue of the Long Friendship (2020) which consist of Unfinished Love Letter, The Debt and It Was Probably Our Karel, She Said.
Žák will also present his project called DeepReal Havel where he investigates the speech of Václav Havel, in which the former Czech president marks decolonisation and the disintegration of the Soviet Union as the most significant events of the second half of the 20th century. This speech, delivered by Václav Havel on the occasion of receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize in 1994, became the subject of the collaboration between said researchers, etc. gallery and Jiří Žák. This consisted of a collaborative rewriting of Havel’s original speech based on the insights of postcolonial studies and the historical distance of the past quarter-century.
Jiri Zak, VALS Lecture
The final text is not merely a transcription but is foremost a re-evaluation of the thought of a politician who has become an international symbol of the nonviolent defeat of totalitarian communist regimes and the following transition of these regimes to capitalist democracy. This theoretically and visually updated reading of Václav Havel’s speech encourages viewers to take distance from the symbolic aura of his persona, and adopt a new perspective on the relation between post-Soviet Czech society, Western countries, and non-European others.
If you are outside of Prague and cannot make it to Bishop’s Court, then simply join online by using this zoom link at the advertised time.
To learn more about Jiří visit his website.

VALS: Tomáš Rousek, From Prague to the Moon

Architect Tomáš Rousek will present his terrestrial and space projects.
Tomáš founded XTEND DESIGN in Prague and London and has collaborated on a number of projects around the world – NASA space modules, architecture for the Rio Olympics, FIFA Championships in Qatar and Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi and futuristic projects for two royal families.
He is inspired by global challenges such as expanding humanity into space and tackling climate change and improving the way cities work. In this presentation, he will also share his company’s experience working for Škoda Auto, EU, Vodafone and Mercedes-Benz.
If you cannot make it to Bishop’s Court then simply join online use this zoom link at the advertised time.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Vestre

Vestre is a design-driven Norwegian outdoor furniture company that designs and produces outdoor meeting spaces for global cities.

Together with BIG, the architectural office of Bjarke Ingels, Vestre has just finished The Plus – hailed as next generation and as the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory located in Norway.

Jan-Hendrik Schlüter from the Berlin office of Vestre will present Vestre’s vision, story and the unique principles of The Plus.

Learn more about Vestre and The Plus.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Ondřej Zita, extraordinary local design & craftsmanship

How can talented graphic design graduate and his cabinet maker friend start a small furniture company producing unique and innovative products?

Ondřej Zita, the co-founder of Master & Master, will present the story of extraordinary local design and craftsmanship with happy clients all over Europe.

You can see and learn more about Master & Master’s work here 

And if you cannot make it to Bishop’s Court then simply use this zoom link at the advertised time.


Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Tomáš Džadoň, Aspiring to Eternity

Tomáš graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He spent a year at the Art Institute in Kankaanpää, Finland and had residencies at the Neue Galerie in Graz, Austria, and at the Center for Central European Architecture in Prague. He works in a non-conceptual way, especially with architecture, often reinterpreting conventions and views associated with socialist modernism placing it in context with traditional folk architecture.

His lecture will present 3 key projects, which, as the artist puts it, aspires to exist for forever. In Folk Architecture Monument (2013-2016), history as burden should be „placed“ forever on the locator’s shoulder. Children’s playground in Leopoldov (2019, Slovakia) was built with the ambition to educate children to acknowledge the plurality of the environment we live in. Finally Exhibition in Rudolfinum searches for the source of our reproaches and our self-questioning towards the living environment that we slowly oppress.

The lecture will take place at PCU’s Bishop’s Court campus and will be live-streamed on Zoom. To join the zoom lecture use this link at the advertised time:

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Milan Mikuláštík

Czech artist and curator Milan Mikuláštík’s VALS lecture will show how the two parallel roles of artistic and curatorial practice influence each other.
There are common aspects that are present in both curatorial and artistic activities across topics, themes and approaches, as well as specific ethical questions.
Mikuláštík’s main interests are the Institutional critique and deconstruction of socio-cultural networks, questioning the role of the author, reflection of relations between art and science, critical comments of the history of museology, history of architecture, the position of painting in digital culture, problems arsing from artistic collaboration, engaged art and artivism.
Milan Mikulastik
Either join us at our Bishop’s Court campus or on this zoom link at the advertised time:

Visiting Artists Lecture Series (VALS) Juliane Foronda, coping mechanisms

We are excited to announce our first VALS event for the new semester and look forward to welcoming Juilane in person at our Bishop’s Court Campus.

For those students who are unable to attend in person you can join the VALS lecture on zoom here:

coping mechanisms
Juliane Foronda (she/her) is a Filipina-Canadian artist, organizer and writer. Her practice is invested in notions of radical care, feminist hospitality, and traditions of gathering. In her VALS talk, coping mechanisms, she will unpack previous projects, as well as sharing her current work and research as MeetFactory’s Food Studioartist-in-residence, which is concerned with the intimacies imbued within gestures and objects that facilitate a hosting practice.

Juliane received her MA in Fine Arts from Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland University of the Arts) in 2018, and her BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph in 2013. She lives and works between Glasgow, Scotland and Tkaronto (Toronto), Canada. | @juliforonda (instagram)