Tina B is back for fifth year

The Prague Post

Contemporary art festival uses nine separate venues

Contemporary art takes center stage this month courtesy of Tina B. – The Prague Contemporary Art Festival, which is now in its fifth year. Beginning Oct. 7, local and international artists are displayed at a variety of venues. New media, performance, light art and video, among other genres are featured.

“We are bringing to Prague more than 100 artists this year, and we do this to help promote Czech artists, too,” said Monika Burian Jourdan, the festival’s director who also runs the Vernon Gallery and Vernon Projekt. “Tina B. is a communication platform, and what is most important is I do it with passion. Art without passion cannot survive and live.”

There’s a variety of things to see both in and out-of-doors. In the exhibition Mobilnale 2, a Holešovice parking lot will display the work of about 20 artists who were asked to install art projects in their cars. These cars will be parked in the lot, which will be open for public parking, as well. The idea is to not only show people’s unhealthy attachments to their cars but have the art be a conduit for the cars, versus the cars being used as an alternative venue for art. Mobilnale 2 can be seen Oct. 8 (7 to 10 p.m.) and Oct. 9-10 (4 to 8 p.m.). In Letná Park, near the Letenský zámek, you’ll find a sculpture by Italian artist Marco di Piazza, who also is showing work at the Jób Gallery.

Venues play an important part in Tina B. New this year is the Jerusalem Synagogue. Organizers hoped to combine the historic Secessionist style of the synagogue with contemporary art. The synagogue was designed by an Austrian architect and builder, and in the interior are two photo exhibits, one by Israeli Orit Ishay and the second by Austrian Katharina Lackner.

Tina B. exhibitions have been put together by curators from Spain, Italy, Turkey and Poland featuring artists from Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, Albania and elsewhere.

Independent curator Aleksandra Grzonkowska is from Gdansk, Poland. She is curating an exhibit that focuses on art from the Visegrad countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“I invited artists from these countries to build an exhibition which will become a kind of experimental laboratory,” she said. “One of the aims is, by using visual language, to describe the connection between art and technology and how these two totally different disciplines influence each other.”

Her exhibit, “Platonic Lives” can be seen at Nosticov Palác.

And who exactly is Tina B.?

“Everyone was asking us: What will be different about your event compared to the two existing biennales?” said Burian Jourdan. “So Tina B. is not only a mysterious woman inviting people to Prague but at the same time it means ‘This Is Not Another Biennale.’ ”

Burian Jourdan began the festival with Belgian collector Jean Pierre Vanlander out of a shared wish that Prague had more contemporary art.

“There are many very interesting Czech young artists working with new media, and the festival gives them the opportunity to meet artists from all over the world,” Burian Jourdan said. “This is also why we do presentations by the artists and curators at the Academy of Art. Foreign curators can discover new talent here, and many artists received the opportunity to present abroad after Tina B.”

Tickets cost 100 Kc and give access to all venues. They can be purchased at either the Czech Centre or Nosticov Palác. The Hard Rock Café is the festival’s official bar, and showing a ticket there will garner a few drink specials.

“Art is pleasure and education and so important for society, its development and democracy,” Burian Jourdan said.