20. 08. 2020 28. 08. 2020

Renowned Czech artists Martin Kohout and Matěj Smetana will be presenting their works Moonwalk and Taylorism 1-3 on a collective exhibition New Media as a part of a special program focusing on Czech video art on the anniversary 20th Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival (NEMAF). The exhibition will be held from August 20 to August 28, 2020 in the gallery Post Territory Ujeongguk in Seoul. This program, which introduces a more comprehensive presentation of Czech video art for the first time in Korea, is organized in cooperation with the Czech Centre Seoul and Národní filmový archiv, Prague on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea.

Martin Kohout (*1984) belongs among significant European artists representing the post-internet generation. He studied camera at Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, fine arts at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin (Gregor Schneider) and the Städelschule in Frankfurt (Simon Starling). In 2010 Kohout received Marler Video-Kunst-Preis scholarship. He was nominated for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award two times, but finally succeeded in 2017. His works are regularly exhibited in the Czech Republic and abroad, e.g. in Futura Gallery and A.M. 180 Gallery in Prague, Goethe Institute in China, Forum-1822 in Frankfurt, MAMbo in Bologna, New Wight Biennial in Los Angeles, etc. Kohout lives in Berlin and Prague, where he co-leads a photography atelier at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague. In his works Kohout uses a wide range of media. His main topic is the elusiveness of the current world in connection with the life in the time of technologies, new principles of communication, existence on the network and related experiences. Kohout’s early works used elements of interactivity, but later on it was replaced by 3D environment and appropriation of objects, materials and technologies of everyday usage. (Text: Martin Blažíček)


When there is no description at all, it usually happens because the piece is somewhat self-explanatory. Let’s take, for example, Moonwalk (2008), a YouTube video where the YouTube scrollbar and the YouTube loading animation are used as the main elements to design a stair to the sky, that slowly fades into infinity. The video was placed on YouTube, where it scored 386.694 views so far. It was even included in YouTube Play, the Google funded exhibition project at the Guggenheim Museum in New York that in 2010 blatantly celebrated YouTube as a pool for “creative video”. So, that’s it. Everything is transparent, everything is “acted in the sun”. The problems first arise when we go deep into the piece, when we actually start looking closer at them. If we look at Moonwalk again, we may realize that what is most fascinating in the video is that the scrollbars are synchronized in a way that makes the red lines proceed all together. Furthermore, when Moonwalk was first uploaded on YouTube, the original YouTube scrollbar was synchronized with the ones in the video: deprived of its functional nature, the scrollbar thus became part of the work, even if not part of the video file. This little detail suddenly turns Moonwalk into something more than a “creative video” playfully dealing with its frame, or a plain celebration of YouTube as a creative platform. Moonwalk becomes a site specific intervention that actually subverts the place of its delivery. (Text: Domenico Quaranta)


Matěj Smetana (*1980) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Brno University of Technology (Intermedia Studio, Drawing Studio, Painting Studio 3) and obtained a doctoral degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He exhibits his works in the Czech Republic and Slovakia quite often, e.g.recently in Meet Factory in Prague, Olomouc Museum of Art, SPZ Gallery in Prague, AMT Project in Bratislava. From 2015 he has taught in Environment Atelier at Brno University of Technology and concurrently at the Department of Intermedia at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. In 2014 he became one of the finalists of the Oskár Čepan Award. Most of the Smetana’s works are characterized by lightness, humour and detached view. Smetana uses various kinds of media focusing on critical approach to art institutions. Quite often he works with a moment, when perspective of perception changes, with illusion and disillusion. In a form of hand-crafted culture he sometimes refers to modernist and conceptual art of 1970’s. With his wife Eliška he performs as a music band Dort (‘Cake‘). (Text: Martin Blažíček) 


In Taylorism 1-3 the artist asked his friends to rehearse and repeat any series of simple movements. On the basis of these movements I animated a drawing into their hands. At the end of the 19th century, a scientist and manager F. W. Taylor found out that degree of working efficiency distinctly rises when a complex manufacturing activity is divided into many simple operations. Taylorism series thematizes a working activity. I’m interested in the relationship between a taylorist routine and a frame-by-frame animation, the production of goods and a sequence of movie frames. (Text: Matěj Smetana)


20. - 28.8.2020 11:00 – 19:00 


Post Territory Ujeongguk (42, Dongmak-ro 20-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul) 




Information summary

  • Date: 20. 08. 2020 28. 08. 2020
  • Venue: Czech Centre Seoul

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