SUMO | CO-EXIST

The third edition of the international gallery exchange SUMO Prague 2022 brings exhibitions, performances, and lectures that have developed through cooperation between international partners in the field of contemporary art.

SUMO Prague 2022, subtitled CO-EXIST, will take place from September 1 to October 14, 2022, in Prague. In this year’s edition of the project, which focuses on international gallery cooperation and participation, twelve Prague galleries will present a diverse program highlighting the most current trends in contemporary art. The opening will take place over the course of three days, from Thursday to Saturday, September 1 to 3, with openings and accompanying programs in each of the individual exhibition spaces.

After two years of SUMO with the subtitle The Odd Year, the organizers have selected a new name: CO-EXIST. This year’s theme hints at a transformation in the perception of the new present and human reciprocity in light of recent and current events, which have also left an indelible mark on artistic creation. Within the scope of the show, exhibitions, performances, lectures, and other events will take place in the spaces of the participating galleries, presenting the works of both established and up-and-coming Czech and international artists.

The show will commence with openings and an accompanying program on Thursday, September 1, from 17:00 to 21:00 at the galleries Berlinskej model, City Surfer Office, Galerie 35m2, Kvalitář, Polansky, POP-UP Gallery AVU, and Světova 1. 

The Danish gallery Sharp Projects was invited to Prague by the space 35m2. Their exhibition Compact. Time. Constraint. includes sculptures and sculptural installations based on the dimensions of a standard A4 sheet of paper. The limitation of the format is applied to beings or materials that take on different forms.

The gallery City Surfer Office invites visitors to an exhibition entitled Soap Opera, which they have prepared in cooperation with the Latvian gallery 427. Soap Opera mixes the lightness of Jānis Dzirnieks’s regenerated pop-ups, the drama of Evita Vasiljeva’s organic surfaces, and the calmness of Daria Melnikova’s performative gestures.

POP-UP Gallery AVU complements SUMO’s diverse program with a collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In the exhibition Remember Teach Nature, students from the Sculpture and Installation Studio and the Art in Public Space Studio explore the significance of nature for artistic creation. Their works are inspired by visits to Austrian national parks and interviews with scientists and park rangers.

After four years, Japanese artists Atsuo Hukuda and Shuhei Fukuda are returning to the Czech Republic with the exhibition Monochrome. For the gallery Kvalitář they have prepared a joint project that refers to one of the traditions of Japanese art that has been appropriated into the field of contemporary art. The exhibition is a collaboration with the Japanese gallery Concept Space, which represents the artists.

Other artists who will be presenting their work in Prague include Rebekka Benzenberg (DE), Monika Grabuschnigg (AT), Constantin Hartenstein (DE), Eliška Konečná (CZ), and Mary-Audrey Ramirez (LU). Their group exhibition entitled Scary Good is being prepared by curator Anna Meinecke and the Berlin gallery Anton Janizewski at the Prague space Berlinskej Model. This will be followed in late September/early October by an exhibition of two Danish/Greenlandic artists, Martin Brandt Hansen (GL/DK) and Rasmus Lyberth (GL/DK), in collaboration with Salon 75 from Copenhagen.

The gallery Polansky will present the work of Siggi Sekira in an exhibition entitled The Forest Song: All of Me Wants All of You. The artist, originally from Odessa, Ukraine, and currently based in Vienna, works with ceramic sculptures and drawings. Sekira draws on the Slavic mythology of the Wiener Werkstätte from around the year 1900, the Soviet avant-garde, and the influx of Western pop culture after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The exhibition will be accompanied by a performance by Danielle Pamp, which will take place at the gallery on Thursday, September 1, at 20:00.

In collaboration with the Queer Spaces Network, Světova 1 has prepared the exhibition Ennui, which will focus on the “experience of capitalist (post)modernity – the alienation and anomie putatively experienced by the much-derided bourgeoise,” as it was articulated by the French writer Gustave Flaubert in the early nineteenth century. The participating artists – Veronika Čechmánková, Martin Dušek, František Felix, Tina Hrevušová, Alžběta Krchová, Olga Krykun, Marcela Putnová, Ezra Šimek, Denisa Štefanigová, and Max Vajt – will thus explore another topic in their work as part of Světova 1’s ongoing curatorial research project entitled As We Grow. The exhibition opening will include a performance on Thursday at 17:00.

The accompanying program and other openings will continue on Friday and Saturday, September 2 and 3, from the afternoon until the evening.

On Friday, September 2, at 11:30 there will be a discussion on current institutional practices and future strategies for art mediation entitled Give Me the Now, initiated by the Lucie Drdova Gallery. The speakers will be independent curator and author Tevž Logar, gallerist and founder of Warsaw’s Leto Gallery Marta Kołakowska, and gallerist and founder of Vienna’s Exile Gallery Christian Siekmeier. The discussion will be moderated by Jen Kratochvil, the director of Kunsthalle Bratislava. The venue for the event is Kunsthalle Praha.

Guided tours of the exhibitions will start with Berlinskej Model at 14:00, followed by Polansky at 15:00 and Světova 1 at 16:00. At 17:00 at the Center for Contemporary Arts Prague there will be a lecture by Franz Thalmair, curator of the Museum of Modern Art (mumok) in Vienna. The lecture is entitled “From Collaboration to Contamination,” and it explores the artistic phenomena in contemporary visual culture that bring together different, sometimes contradictory entities.

On the second day of the festival there will be an opening and performance for the exhibition The Wind Swallowed My Words at 18:00 at hunt kastner. The performative opening of the exhibition will showcase the work of multidisciplinary artist Adam Christensen, who works with textile, video, installation, and performance. Through multimedia, he mediates emotional and physical experiences and builds spaces or “stages” where pain, joy, memory, and identity play out. In parallel, the gallery is opening an exhibition in its projekt_room by Brno-based artist Natalie Perkof entitled Cabinet of Miniatures and Delights.

On Saturday, September 3, there will be guided tours of the exhibitions starting at Kvalitář at 13:00, then City Surfer Office at 15:00, hunt kastner at 15:45, 35m2 at 16:30, and POP-UP Gallery AVU at 17:15.

This year SUMO Prague will join in the first edition of PRAGUE ART WEEK 22, which runs from September 9 to 15. The joint program includes a performance by Luki Essender, curated by Romana Drdová. The performance will take place on September 13 at 18:00 at Václav Havel Square (the piazzetta of the National Theatre).

The exhibitions will then continue until mid-October according to the programs of the individual galleries and the schedule published at www.sumoprague.cz.

This art show focusing on cooperation with foreign partners is being initiated by the Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries for the third time under the name SUMO Prague, although in total it is the event’s fifth year. The aim of the project is to present new forms of contemporary art to the local audience. SUMO creates a network of artists, curators, critics, and other actors in the global art scene and fosters international cooperation in institutional practice.

EXHIBITIONS

Berlinskej Model | Scary Good

Berlinskej Model | Curiosity as Helmsmen

hunt kastner | The Wind Swallowed My Words

hunt kastner | Cabinet of Miniatures and Delights

City Surfer Office | Soap Opera

Polansky | The Forest Song: All of Me Wants All of You

POP-UP Gallery AVU | Remember Teach Nature

Galerie 35m2 | Compact. Time. Constraint.

Kvalitář | MonochromeSvětova 1 | Ennui

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