+ Current program
Mill Island › MølleØy › 29/9–25/2/2024
participating artists: David Böhm & Jiří Franta, Ondřej Buddeus & co., Kateřina Jirsová, Kristina Fingerlandová, Artur Magrot, Ian Mikyska, Tomáš Moravec, and others
guests: Agnieszka Foltyn (CA/NO), Sayed Sattar Hasan (GB/NO), Alessandro Marchi (IT/NO), Araiz Mesanza (ES/NO), and others
curators: Kjetil Detroit Kristensen (NO), Šárka Zahálková
& the collective of collaborators: GAMPA: Nikola Březinová, Josef Čevora, Tereza Drábková, Václav Jánoščík, Tereza Kopecká, Jakub Kudláček, Jolana Lažová, Tomáš Magrot, Aleš Mach, Jaromír Možíš, Vojtěch Novák, Elena Pecenová, Honza Rous & co., Marie Sieberová, Patrik Sedlák, Damián Sommer, Valentýna Šatrová, Adam Trbušek, Dorota Václavíková – & Divadlo 29: artina Dvořáková, Jaroslav Horecký, Dominik Jílek, Jakub Štrba, Jaroslav Tarnovski, Zdeněk Závodný, and others
The multi-layered project with which GAMPA enters into a new phase of its existence explores the possibilities of time-space narration in the context of one of the most iconic structures in Pardubice: the Automatic Mills. In the last ten years, the site has gone from an operating mill to a centre for the arts. The participation of the city’s inhabitants and the independent arts scene played an important role in this transformation. The aim of the Mill Island project is to reflect on this role and use the language of contemporary art to commemorate and retell the story of the site through a different narrative.
THE NARRATIVE OF THE EXHIBITION
More than an exhibition, this is an artistic environment – architecture inside architecture. This vision began with the motif of the island, changing landscapes, tectonic plates, and the history of the mill factory itself. This basic framework of ideas then served as a space in which both collective and individual multi-genre work by both the artists and curators could develop. The narrative is focused into three chapters: reverbation, shift, transformation. These themes concern the history of the locality, but they also have to do with other societal themes; they offer up further interpretations and connections.
The reverbation chapter explores changed urban acoustics in the context of the transformation of cities, as well as voices of the public and various communities in public spaces.
Shift is a chapter about work, its transformation, changes in priorities – it is about labour in the context of factory shifts as well as about the value and valuation of artistic labour.
The transformation chapter addresses not only the transformation of the site itself, but especially the transformation of institutions.
THE PROCESSUALITY OF EXPERIENCE
One important element of the Mill Island project is that the core of the artists selected by the curators is formed by individuals who participated in the transformation of the Automatic Mills from a factory to an art centre at various points of the process, and thus joined the project with previous experiences and memories of the space and working with it processually. In many cases, this interdisciplinary manner of working in a site-specific context initiated collaborations across genres, which this project continues and extends. In its manner of realisation, the project explores and opens up possibilities of contemporary exhibition practice and the role of the gallery in the context of the city and its community – it serves as a laboratory, not conceiving of the gallery space as a “window-shop of beauty”, instead opting for a space of living dialogue and the communication of a multi-layered narrative in the reading of which the visitor actively participates.
Part of the preparations for the exhibition supported by EEA and Norway Grants was a workshop in Stavanger, Norway, organised in the autumn of 2022 in collaboration with our partner institution, Detroit Kunsthalle, lead by curator Kjetil Detroit Kristensen. During this time, participating artists tested out various contemporary methods of working with collective memory and the memory of places. The collaboration with the Norwegian alternative art institution and its selection of artists introduced new perspectives to the project, as well as possibilities for grasping the themes that the collective is working with. The manner of leading, curating, and mentoring a relatively broad and diverse group of artists consciously incorporates methods of collaborative and non-hierarchical work. One of the foundations of this collective labour is communication and an awareness of who is doing what and why. In this process, the institution is responsible not only for the artists, their works, and their arrangement in the gallery space, but also for collective communication and art-making.
David Böhm & Jiří Franta › creative duo; their base is in drawing, but they often go beyond the discipline, they are interested in process, the principle of time-lapse, overcoming dangers, experimenting, following the rules and going beyond them, creative dialogue, irony, seriousness, playfulness, eternal incompleteness; they are the authors of the central concept of the island, into which they enter with their drawings-objects
Ian Mikyska › composer and intermedia artist; in 2017, during his residency at the Automatic Mills, he created a “sensory stroll” that mediated and opened up multi-sensory approaches to the genius loci of the site; in his Mill Island project, he further develops these principles through a focus on walking and writing
Kristina Fingerlandová › visual artist working with illustration, objects, and performance; as part of her 2018 residency at the Automatic Mills, she used textile upcycling to explore the theme of labour; she will also make use of upcycled textiles for her contribution to the Mill Island
Tomáš Moravec › visual artist who often works with changes in public spaces; the artist responded to the Automatic Mills in an early project created in 2009, when he worked with the morphology of the facade of Gočár’s mill house; this was back when the machines were still in operation, while for his new project for the interiors of GAMPA, the artist responds to the theme of labour, its cyclicity, and its role in art-making
Kateřina Jirsová › artist and long-time resident of Pardubice, member of the Offcity collective and also of a three-member group that realised a project at the Automatic Mills; during her residency at the Mills, she focused on public space, organising participative workshops that led to the construction of furniture and a shared bar for the Automatic Mills; for Mill Island, she is creating a series of objects from diverse materials through which she explores themes such as relationships, cooperation, and ego
Ondřej Buddeus › poet, writer, translator, cultural organiser; for the Mill Island exhibition, he is preparing a series of performative text interventions realised in collaboration with other invited poets
Artur Magrot › visual artist whose contribution to the Mill Island is an artistic-architectural installation that connects all the works into a single organism; in 2018, the artist collaborated with dancer and choreographer Kateřina Szymanski and philosopher and lecturer Václav Jánoščík on a performative video-guide through the mills, exploring various philosophical aspects of labour
NORWEGIAN COLLABORATING ARTISTS
Araiz Mesanza › Basque (Spain) visual artist and illustrator living and working in Oslo; she makes children and artist’s books, prints, illustrations; besides running her own publishing house ‘TOKI press’
Alessandro Marchi › Italian artist based in Oslo; his art practice revolves around landscapes transformed by humans, identity, capitalism, inequality, chaos, and public space; besides being a part of the author persona/collective ‘Rose Hammer’
Sayed Sattar Hasan › British artist living in Oslo; his work explores the myth of the self and collective identities, heritage and togetherness, breaks between tradition and change and a need for rediscovery; beside also being the ‘Head of Institutional Emotions’ at Detroit Kunsthalle
Šárka Zahálková › home curator at GAMPA; she has a long-standing interest in themes relating to art as a tool for social change and art in public spaces; she co-founded and leads the Offcity platform; she is a recipient of the Fulbright-Masaryk scholarship for the non-profit sector in the USA and a graduate of the Curating & Commissioning Contemporary Public Art course at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg; she is currently a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague
Kjetil Detroit Kristensen › artist, exhibition-maker, and founder of the Detroit Kunsthalle in Norway; his work explores the position of the artist, themes of power, institutions, and geopolitics; his curatorial practice focuses on searching for new alternatives to the gallery space and developing varied strategies for evaluation of contemporary art; he is a graduate of the Art & Public Space master’s programme at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts; and the Curating & Commissioning of Contemporary Public Art at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg
Ondřej Ježek, Tomáš Procházka & collective of musicians: Martin Lauer, Martin Režný, Jára Tarnovski, Jan Polívka, Václav Šafka › in 2017, a group of experienced experimental musicians led a workshop that utilised the entire building of the Automatic Mills as a musical instrument; the album Studio Winternitz was published the same year as the output of the workshop – for the grand opening, we are preparing the release of an updated version on vinyl (mastering: Federsel, CSN, cover art: Aneta Lammrová, graphic design: Tereza Drábková)
financial support: EEA and Norway Grants, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Statutory City of Pardubice
we would also like to thank: CIDEM Hranice – CETRIS division, Cukrovar Vrbátky a.s., KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH – factory 1 Městec Králové, Karel Mařík – DASIS, Aeroklub Chrudim
Photos from the exhibition
+ Accompanying program
Creative Sunday: Airshow
› Sun 25/2/2024 15:00
Have you ever flown by plane? How did it feel? Come and assemble a paper airplane with us. Do you know how to make it fly as far as possible? Our planes will be used to send secret messages. At the end, there will be an air race, which will take place from 4.30pm on the piazzeta in front of the gallery.
4& (Mathieu Chamagne: Apertures, Petr Vrba: trumpet, elektronics)
› Tue 12/3/2024 20:00
In between exhibitions, GAMPA becomes, among other things, a refuge for short-term art projects and performances. The creative meeting of two improvisers with two very different approaches to live electronic music is one such temporary intervention. Petr Vrba is a tireless explorer of non-idiomatic improvisation using trumpets, clarinets, synthesizers, DIY electronics or vibrating speakers. Mathieu Chamagne develops interactive devices, explores and questions the meaning and role of the musical space in the interpretation of electronic music, blurring the boundaries between composition, interpretation and improvisation. His interactive installation Apertures, which he will bring with him to Pardubice, is both an object and a non-haptic sound instrument working with gestures. Their approaches, instruments and the gallery space meet in this unique performance.