22. 2. — 20. 6.

Kinetismus: 100 Years of Electricity in Art

Published February 22, 2022

The opening exhibition will celebrate the original function of Kunsthalle Praha.

The exhibition is also a nod to Czech avant-garde artist and pioneer of kinetic art Zdeněk Pešánek who created a series of allegorical kinetic light sculptures titled 100 Years of Electricity for the façade of the Zenger substation in 1936. The artwork, which brought together art, science, and sound, was presented at the International Exposition of Arts and Technology in Paris in 1937 where it perfectly embodied the theme of the Exposition: Technology in Modern Life. Unfortunately, the piece mysteriously disappeared after it returned to Prague and was never installed on the façade it was originally created for. Failing to recover these lost sculptures – of which only the preparatory models remain – the Kunsthalle Praha team chose to focus on bringing Pešánek’s ideas back to life and exploring their legacy. The exhibition title also refers to his seminal book Kinetismus which discusses the possibilities offered by the integration of motorised movement and artificial light in art.

Kinetismus: 100 Years of Electricity in Art will explore how electricity has transformed artistic practice from the start of the 20th century to the present day and focus on four key areas – cinematography, kinetic art, cybernetic art, and computer art. The exhibition will feature over ninety works of art by several generations of artists from all around the world, including independent figures and members of emblematic groups such as Bauhaus, GRAV, Dvizhenie, ZERO, and teamLab. The show will include the work of pioneers such as Mary Ellen Bute, Zdeněk Pešánek, László Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Duchamp; established names such as Julio Le Parc, Yaacov Agam, Woody and Steina Vašulka, François Morellet, Adéla Matasová, William Kentridge; and representatives from younger generations such as Refik Anadol, Žilvinas Kempinas, Shilpa Gupta, Olafur Eliasson, Michael Bielický & Kamila B. Richter.

The exhibition has been conceived by guest curator Peter Weibel (theoretician, artist and director of the ZKM l Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany), alongside co-curators Christelle Havranek (Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Praha) and Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás (scientific associate and curator) and has benefited from important loans from private lenders and major institutions including ZKM (Germany), Tate (UK) and Centre Pompidou (France).

You can buy a tickets here.