Jiří Kovanda Versus the Rest of the World

Jiří Kovanda (*1953) has been pursuing actions which are almost indiscernible from real life. His oeuvre is simultaneously poetical and political. The artist asks the existential question – What place does an individual occupy in the public space specifically in the context of the reality of the Eastern Block during the Soviet era? The French curators Guillaume Désanges and François Piron selected both earlier and more recent works by the artist for the present exhibition. It is entitled Jiří Kovanda against the Rest of the World and it not only presents one part of his oeuvre but also confronts it with the variety of methods, ideas and gestures which had often originated from various places, various contexts and various periods. This confrontation is based on subjectively selected documents. Reproductions of works of art, snapshots taken during performances as well as advertising shoots offer intuitive bonds, inconspicuous similarities and visual echoes, thus incorporating Kovandaʼs unique oeuvre into a wider context of contemporary art and simultaneously revealing its universal character and expressive timelessness. The exhibition Jiří Kovanda against the Rest of the World therefore eventually helped associate several group exhibitions in a single space.