Workers die, but work lives on
Vernissage on Tuesday 22 September at 5 p.m.
This exhibition sets out to present the artistic depiction of work and labour – starting with the glory years of this theme, then tracing its subsequent degradation, followed by a period in which it was marginalized and neglected, and finally its gradual re-emergence on the art scene. The exhibition will not offer a nostalgic vision of work; it will instead seek to rehabilitate the notion of work as an artistic theme, offering a critical evaluation of it and presenting it (to both experts and non-experts) as a topic that has some form of relevance to every human being. The exhibition will show how artists historically dealt with themes of work and labour as well as tracing the legacy this art has left – both in the narrower region and on the wider art scene. The individual parts of the exhibition will showcase various aspects of work and labour, including artists’ depictions of different professions – from industry and trade to agriculture and intellectual endeavours – demonstrating how Czech artists’ treatment of these themes has evolved during the 20th century and up to the present day, and encompassing sculpture, painting, photography, and architectural ornament. From the initial notion of work as a necessity, the emphasis has gradually shifted to an enchantment with new technologies and ultimately to contemporary interpretations centering on the notion that art can provide insights into the everyday life of past societies, tracing the evolution of technologies and applying the principle of the “last working day” to preserve our knowledge of working practices and crafts that are nowadays obsolete or largely forgotten.
The exhibition will feature works borrowed from 18 Czech galleries and museums, the National Heritage Authority, and the artists themselves.
The patrons of the exhibition is Lukáš Curylo, Deputy Governon of the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Funded by the Czech Ministry of Culture.