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Prague Public Transport launches its unique „Metro Art“ project

Prague, 26th October 2011 - Prague Public Transport presents its long-term „Metro Art“ project which will point out the architectural and artistic qualities of the Prague Metro and will place other art forms within its spaces. The project will start in conjunction with the international KomiksFEST!.

 

At present the Prague Metro contains more than 100 works of art by important 20th century Czech artists, part of our nation's cultural heritage. It is the intention of Prague Public Transport to show these works to the public at large and present them in an accessible and entertaining manner.

Prague Public Transport General Manager Martin Dvořák says, "By initiating the Metro Art project Prague takes its place among those world capitals which take art to be part of their metro system, thereby making travel by public transport more pleasant". So after a break of twenty years art is coming back to the Prague Metro.

The first show presents six leading Czech comic artists. In conjunction with the international KomiksFEST! these artists have created in Metro line C stations original comics interventions which can be seen by passengers in the Holešovice, I P Pavlova, Pražského povstání, Kačerov and Háje stations. When developing these, the artists have worked either with the social aspect of the public space or directly with the name of the station. "The poetry of Jan Těsnohlídek says something to me by its brutality while at the same time comes across as really contemporary, that's why I wanted to share it with passengers in the Metro, where somehow poetry is missing", adds Jaromír 99, the artist for Holešovice metro station, who has worked with the famous Czech poet's verse.

"Metro Art" in 2012

Metro Art will run for a number of years. Right now Prague Public Transport is preparing the programme for 2012.

During the project Prague Metro passengers will have the chance of getting to know not only original works of art located in the Metro from the 1970s onwards, but also the work of contemporary artists. The Prague Metro will offer a unique option to confront a wide variety of artistic approaches and will link up several generations of artists, architectural theorists and university students. Other activities planned for next year include a series of commentated walks, debates with artists, architects, art theorists and sociologists, performances and concerts. Another important activity will be cooperation with the Street for Art festival, in the form of various kinds of live art (performance, graphic arts and film).

The “Metro Art" project will support not only young artists, but will also be an instrument to improve social control on the Metro, helping to mitigate the impact of vandalism", adds Martin Dvořák.

Project Financing

The estimate of the financial costs of the project is some 2 million Czech crowns. Financing of the project is being shared by Prague Public Transport and its project partner Rencar. Prague Public Transport will be trying to obtain public funds on the basis of a grant. The project will also be supported by income from commercial sources (merchandising, modern technology). A detailed budget and project timetable is in the course of production.

More informations you can find on the official website www.umenivmetru.cz

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Information for editors

Háje station (artist: Karel Jerie)

His painting is dominated by the bold, strong use of colour. This local comic artist says of his work: "I chose the Háje station because its name (The Groves) relates to that part of my work focused on life in the forest, mushrooms and those who pick them, and other who live in and visit the forest. The picture opens up the metro to creatures of the forest and transports the scent of the dark woods to places of technical progress. At the symbolic level the forest and the metro relate to the unconscious which is among other things a source of the fantastic in pictures. A journey by metro can thus be creative inspiration and a point of contact between technology and nature in the raw".

Opatov station (artist: Jaromír Plachý)

For the artist, the Opatov metro station is a typical piece of artistic minimalism and a fresh combination of the bizarre, the bloody and the melancholic. In his comics (Spheres and Cubes) he brings geometric shapes, fag-ends and excrement to life. „Everyone travels by metro, and anyone who denies it is talking rubbish", Jaromír Plachý adds.

Kačerov station (artist: Vladimír 518)

This artist is well-known to the public through his music, as a member of the PSH rap formation. He is one of the founding members of the graffiti and hip-hop scene here. His mark on comics has been more peripheral, but he has created a number of significant stories. His creative originality and energetic, impetuous line flow from the graffiti aesthetic. "In my case it's a series of portraits of the homeless in Prague, to be precise double portraits, where the first always captures them at that moment in time when I came first across them. The second shifts the real character in comic style, or we are at the halfway point between an everyday urban waxworks and a stylised comics environment", Vladimír 518 comments on his work.

Pražského povstání station (artist: David Böhm)

Jointly with Jiří Franta he has been twice nominated for the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize for the drawings he has displayed in public spaces and galleries. In Böhm's work it is not the end result which wins out, but the act and manner of creation. So his performances can involve cranes and pendulums in creating a work. "I have drawn two metro trains full of people. I took some people and made up micro-stories for them; what happens both before and after they were in the metro…", artist David Böhm adds.

I. P. Pavlov station (artist: Kateřina Bažantová Ktaiwanita)

The drawing for this station was provided by this versatile artist who moves on the margins of DIY culture and modern, smart, authorial creative „pop". She is active in webdesign, retouched photography, scenography, clip creation and television animation. On the station in question she comments: "Ivan Petrovič Pavlov (14.9.1849 - 27.2.1936), Russian physiologist, psychologist and doctor. In 1904 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. Not only is this station dedicated to him, but this picture is as well. After all, where else but in the environment of public transport is the difference between men and animals erased, basic conditioned reflexes occur and the mechanisms of psychological and physiological phenomena are rampant".

Holešovice station (artist: Jaromír 99)

This artist attracted attention with his very first comics project when with his drawings and subject matter he co-authored the Alois Nebel trilogy with writer Jaroslav Rudiš (Skies under Berlin), the film version of which has just begun showing in cinemas. He has also created the author comic Bomber, for which he also developed the soundtrack.

 

Contact for further information:

Ilona Vysoudilová
Head of the Press Department and Press Spokesperson for Prague Public Transport,
email: tiskoveoddeleni@dpp.cz

Lenka Hluchá
Project Head “Metro Art”,
email: HluchaL@dpp.cz
website: www.umenivmetru.cz

 

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