OPEN-AIR GASK - PLANET

Open-air GASK – sculptures in the GASK gardens

Veronika Šrek Bromová, Planet

2020

iron construction, bearing, gold, coconut mat, felt, wire mesh, non-woven garden fabric, soil, plants

The work of Veronika Šrek Bromová (born 1966) has been among the most interesting art on the domestic art scene since the 1990s. Her open experiments with photographing her own body and her manipulated photographs combining staged images with collage motifs were not only daring and provocative artistic gestures, but also marked the emergence of the strong generation of women onto the Czech art scene after the Velvet Revolution. Her works have also been well received internationally, and in 1999 she successfully represented the Czech Republic at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art.

For more than a decade, the personal as well as professional life of Veronika Šrek Bromová has been associated with the Chaos farmstead located in the town of Střítež near Polička, where she lives and works with her family, where she founded and runs Kabinet Chaos and where she is actively involved in the life of the local community. She has also been engaged in organisational, curatorial and teaching activities.

Bromová’s current work differs at first glance from her earlier work. She continues to develop her experimental and provocative work with the body, but in the foreground of her current practice are meditative works and an interest in rituals along with authentic experiencing of a place and situation. Besides photography, she also works with video, drawing and painting, and her work possesses a distinctly performative character. Working with the same openness with which she approaches questions of gender and the technical and artistic possibilities of digital photography in the 1990s, her current works reflect the search for balance, harmony and one’s place in the world and within one’s family. Bromová explores the yearning to become one with a place, fully experiencing it, taking an interest in its history and its natural laws, hidden magic potential and streams of energy that art is capable of engaging with in a dialogue.

Last year, Bromová created a new ‘living’ Planet for the Smetana’s Litomyšl arts festival and for the Plan B project. This object lives within the urban space, breathing and growing in response to the care and attention it receives. At the centre of the object is a metal sphere with pockets filled with soil. Planet ‘comes alive’ by various kinds of flowers and grasses being planted in these pockets. In collaboration with the artist who, through her art actions, systematically seeks to engage in a dialogue not only with the given place but also with people and to involve them in her projects, we invite residents of Kutná Hora and visitors to GASK to participate in planting Planet during a weekend event. The shared goal of the artist and of the gallery’s curators is for the presence of this work on the site of a Baroque-era lime kiln to communicate with the local setting and the local community and thus to revive the subject of public art while accentuating the work’s strong environmental message of caring for the environment in which we live. For this reason, we also invite local residents to remember Planet on their summer strolls through Kutná Hora and to help Planet grow and flower with a little bit of attention and a few bottles of water.

Vanda Skálová

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