Friday, February 27, 2015

498 words

I tried to clarify what it was that we are proposing.
After reading our statements, I didn't think that "creating subtle spaces for catharsis" was necessarily the strongest sentence. I also brought in a consolidated list of what it is I think the work is actually going to do. What do you think? Also, the description of your word got changed around a little bit - hope you don't mind. 
I am free until 3pm today. I also think we can cut the entire second paragraph (bars line the windows). it's overkill...? Let's talk...?

Pradelna Bohnice is a contemporary project space located 5 km north of Prague's city center. Set on the grounds of the largest psychiatric ward in Czech Republic, it was a laundry facility for the Institution. (Pradelna means Laundromat). Within its walls one feels the working conditions of thousands of women who washed the laundry for almost a century, from 1909 to 1993, concealing the hierarchy between those institutionalized and the Institution. This art space currently sits on the grounds of a fully functioning hospital with roughly 1300 patients and 1000 employees. The past is very much present.

Bars line all windows. The central entrance has high ceilings that dwarf the visitor and is similar to the entrance of a cathedral. The interior feels cold and grey. Holes and missing tiles are seen throughout the building, as are randomly placed cement slabs where laundry machines and tables were arranged. Sound echoes, especially high heeled shoes on tile.

Tereza Swanda and Angela Rose Voulgarelis’ proposed exhibition uses the history of Pradelna Bohnice as a point of departure to speak about the ramifications of marginal ways of thinking, collective experiences of art in a non US-based context, and art as a tool for transformation. They intervene on materials of a laundry mat – carving into bars of soap and embroidering onto hundreds of flat white sheets hung from laundry lines – to shift the focus from the authorship of the artists to engagement with the public as social sculpture. Conversations become part of each work; story telling will be a shared exchange.

In Mutual Cleanse, Swanda, born and raised in CZ, carves and paints individual portraits into bars of soap. As a response to portraiture reserved for the elite, clergy, or politicians, Swanda’s portraits will be of the cleaning women who collect change and clean Prague’s public restrooms. She will use her grandmother’s collection of 120 bars of soap that she ‘skladovala’ (meaning stored, stacked with care) in the walls of her one bedroom apartment in Czechoslovakia during Communism. The soap will be functional, and will be placed in holes and missing tiles throughout Pradelna Bohnice. Gallery viewers will be asked to use one bar at a time for their bathroom experience, and replace the used soap back into the exhibition. 

Airing Dirty Laundry is an ongoing collaborative performance installation in which Voulgarelis sits among hundreds of folded flat white sheets and embroiders a single line of text onto one at a time. She hangs them from laundry lines in public space like Pradelna Bohnice. She offers passersby a phrase card with the text,  “I Should…”, “Don’t Be Too…”, “Don’t…”, or “Not Enough…” and invites them to complete it as well as to embroider alongside her.  She asks each person to consider the notion of “airing dirty laundry”. The pencil used to fill out the card is offered in exchange.  Embroidery, as a central visual element, reveals connection between meditation and everyday actions and collapses the hierarchy between “High Art” and domestic labor.

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