Kunsthalle LAB presents a solo exhibition by the Czech artistic duo of Jiří Franta and David Böhm. They have worked in creative tandem since 2006, and during that time they have had numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. The launch of their latest exhibition, prepared specially for this space and curated by Pavel Švec, will be held on Wednesday July 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition will continue until September 2, 2018.
The visual art projects of Jiří Franta (*1978) and David Böhm (*1982) are distinguished by an attempt to seek new contexts and significant overlaps of the classical medium of drawing, examination of its physical limits, and also, for example, thoughts on the wider relationship between image and text structure. Their joint presentations, however, also include performance, videos, spatial installations, interventions in public space and wall paintings, and last but not least, publishing activity. With their spontaneity and heuristic approach, this artistic pairing provokes creativity and imagination among audiences, who are drawn into the game in an original and captivating manner by the artists’ relaxed, participative approach, which is open to a cumulation of associations.
No One’s Going to Laugh! presents a thematic cross-section of their joint work from recent years. It comprises works not previously exhibited and also some of older date, which are set, however, in a new context. Only individual works appear here from extensive cycles, and what emerges from more than a decade of partnership between the two artists is the dominant features that distinguish it: interactivity, unceasing friendly dialogue (of which play is indispensably part), an almost automatically generated humour and wit: all this stretches like a red thread through a fertile and frisky period of collaborative work.
Humour may touch even upon serious themes and express emotions which are not directly connected only with joy. The question arises whether in one form or another it is not an essential component of every good work of art. In particular, its more complicated, subtle and multi-layered forms, which operate also on a certain plane of disquiet or melancholy, may be recognised immediately in some of the artworks in this exhibition.
Hooded ballet dancers, or a musical score created with a gun: all of that is straightforwardly humorous only until we mentally connect it with what is occurring in the world around us. As the curator Pavel Švec remarks, “Fortunately, Franta and Böhm are here to show us that all the good and vital things which we hold in common with our primitive fellow-pilgrims are by no means lost, and that playful interaction is still a considerable magnitude, indispensable in the field of visual art”.
Pavel Švec (*1980) lives and works in Prague. From 2002 to 2008 he studied in Vaclav Stratil’s Intermedia Studio at Brno University of Technology. Since 2009 he has worked as an assistant, administrator of collections and occasional curator in select Prague galleries, including Jiří Švestka Gallery, SVIT Gallery, 35m2 Gallery, Hunt Kastner and Nevan Contempo.
Jiří Franta (*1978) and David Böhm (*1982), both graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Painting Studio II /School of Vladimír Skrepl), have been working together since 2006. As an artistic duo, they have had numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. Their solo exhibitions include: Blind Man’s Dream (Fait Gallery, Brno), Behind Paintings (Moravian Gallery, Brno), Echolog (Jiri Svestka Gallery, Berlin), Almost Nothing Is Complete (Karlin Studios, Prague), It Is Not What It Could Be (Galerie NOD, Prague). They have appeared three times in the final of the Jindřich Chalupecky Prize. Alongside their joint free creation, they are involved in illustration, publishing, and teaching. Their works are included in collections of the City Gallery Prague, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Olomouc Museum of Art, Fait Gallery, Gallery of Fine Arts in Cheb, Adam Gallery, etc. Jiří Franta is also a member of the Rafani art group.
DAVID BÖHM – JIŘÍ FRANTA: No One’s Going to Laugh!
Curator: Pavel Švec
Opening: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Duration: July 5 – September 2, 2018
Venue: Kunsthalle LAB