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14 December 2023

Magic of Kunsthalle - students amazed by the modern art exhibition

Hundreds of tourists stream down the castle steps to Klárov every day after visiting the most beautiful gem of Prague architecture, the Prague Castle. And it is right there that they arrive at the new jewel - Zenger's transformation station, which after reconstruction has been converted into a new cultural venue known as Kunsthalle Praha. It is no wonder that it has become the destination of excursions for students of art and architecture and raised the interest of students of humanities at the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University. 

Excursion with Krystal Centre to interiors awarded the Grand Prix of Architects

The Pudil Family Foundation decided to use the former transformer station to connect the Czech and international art scene, and their plan is proving perfectly successful. The students of the Krystal Centre not only had the opportunity to see the renovated space, which was awarded the Grand Prix of Architects - National Architecture Award for 2022, but also to tour the current exhibitions with an expert guide. 

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After a short introduction to the history of the building, the group proceeded to the exhibition of the world-famous duo Elmgreen & Dragset called READ, dedicated to the literary heritage of the Czech capital. The first large-scale exhibition of these two artists in the Czech Republic transformed the space of Kunsthalle Prague into a public library, and in the foyer the students joined an interactive exhibition and spontaneously added titles to the spines of the books displayed on the wall. The exhibition consists of works by sixty artists who were personally invited by Elmgreen & Dragset to collaborate. The uniqueness of the duo's work is proven by the fact that it was their installation Fruit of Knowledge that attracted the greatest interest among the students. 

Lunchmeat Studio's exhibition sparked a lively discussion about modern art

The extraordinary space of Kunsthalle hosts highly exclusive projects, so it is no surprise that the future students of art were impressed by the Lunchmeat Studio's exhibition. Their audio-visual work The Grief of Unwanted Cathedrals is the most extensive immersive exhibition in the Czech Republic based on the concept of multi-channel.After its premiere at the Signal Festival 2023, it was moved to Kunsthalle. Technically precise 3D scans of vanished mines and factory halls from the Kladno region and selected Prague industrial buildings were created using the method of photogrammetry with mobile phones and drones. The used technique inspired many questions aimed at the guide and a lively discussion about modern art ensued. 

The tour of the gallery was followed by a small excursion to the tower, used before the Velvet Revolution for surveillance by the secret police, and to other parts of the delicately reconstructed building. The guide pointed out to those interested in architecture the interesting elements used in the reconstruction, such as pummeled concrete for better acoustics or special cast floors with embedded remnants of insulators and copper. The final reward for everyone was a spectacular view of the Petřín Hill and Prague Castle from the café terrace. 

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Text: Petra Köppl

Photo: René Volfík

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