Sample performance, Prague-Karlín, Oct.16, 2022
in cooperation with VIPER Gallery and GHMP
Blanket of Knowledge: Sabine Ott
GHMP/ Prague City Gallery /Art for the City programme and the TriangulUM project, Prague 2022
curators: Marie Foltýnová, Jitka Hlaváčková, in cooperation with Jan Trejbal
production manager: Zuzana Stejskalová
„Internacionalní Togetherhood“ was conceived by transparadiso on invitation by GHMP/ Prague City Gallery within the Art for the City programme and the TriangulUM project to create an artistic intervention in public spaces in the central areas of Prague-Suchdol.
The goal of the project was to open a public debate on the lack of communication between the Prague-Suchdol Municipality and the neighborhood, and the Czech University of Life Sciences, which have been living in close proximity here for seventy years in mutual respect but without any visible connection or closer exchange. Since the university is based on the concept of a campus, the knowledge produced at the ČZU does not radiate to the surrounding residential area or the life of the local neighborhood. Therefore Internacionalní Togetherhood wanted to activate the two underused squares, the square of the District Town Hall and the one at the entrance of the ČZU, both being connected by Internacionální Street.
Transparadiso conceived a "procession" for which they produced the "blanket of knowledge" as a collective object, for inviting participants (residents, students and employees of the ČZU) to jointly overcome mental as well as physical boundaries between the two squares along Internacionální Street. This "collective body" requires a high degree of coordination and cooperation of all participants and thus also symbolically counters individual interests. So, apart from overcoming spatial boundaries, Internacionalní Togetherhood also addresses the ambivalent feelings we face every day when we have to choose between individualism/personal comfort and solidarity/collective interests and common activities.
On Feb. 24, 2022 Russia's war against Ukraine began - which fundamentally changed the parameters for Internacionalní Togetherhood: our partners ČZU immediately engaged in welcoming/ hosting the refugees and developed an intensive cooperation with the Prague-Suchdol district. Due to these urgent political events, Internacionalní Togetherhood was postponed.
Even if it may seem as if an essential theme of our project, namely the linking of neighborhoods, has already been realized, one has to look at the situation in a differentiated way. New demarcations and exclusions have emerged: The differentiation between the "welcomed" refugees from Ukraine and "unwelcomed" refugees/ asylum seekers from other countries, who have often been held out for many years in an unclear status, has created a new social divide.
We still have to investigate, how to adapt our intervention in relation to the current situation in Prague-Suchdol. The essential issues of how the two squares could be activated as public spaces for the center of Suchdol have not been resolved in any way. On the contrary, in the meantime the Hotel Galaxie, where we had planned our final event, has closed.
Therefore, in October 2022 we started to investigate current issues in Prague-Karlín (on invitation by GHMP/ Prague City Gallery and in cooperation with VIPER Gallery). There we realized a sample performance as a basis for further research and realization of a project in 2023.