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Main Gallery

Exhibition Ondřej Havránek (an attempted portrait)

Handa Gote research & development
19.2.21.3.
Mon 18.2. - 19:00

Curated by Tomáš Procházka and Miloš Vojtěchovský

"What can be more cheering than to fill a friend's request? After a year of acquaintance, and a year playing together in a punk band, O. Havránek said to me in a pub: "I am really looking forward to the time when they dig us out of the archives". That was about 25 years ago. Only gradually did I realize that the only one who can dig him out of the archives will be one of us."
Tomáš Procházka, Handa Gote

In their previous theater projects based on research and the use of collected archival materials and their reinterpretations (e.g., Ekran and Mr. Roman), the Handa Gote collective has focused mainly on people whom they did not personally know. Since then, they have turned their attention to their families and relatives and, rather than collecting impersonal 'neutral' data, instead they now cull from more personal sources, or production artefacts. In 2012, Handa Gote produced "Clouds," a performance that charted the family history of Veronika Švábová. The “Ondřej Havránek exhibition” forms the second part of an ongoing series entitled “My Country”.

If you look more closely, the seemingly ordinary life of unknown people may turn out to be rather remarkable. The Ondřej Havránek exhibition is a continuation of Handa Gote's interest in so-called "small histories". Alongside “official history,” people live their everyday lives, never becoming celebrities, and generally never gathering the attention of society. But their life (at least for their circle of friends and family) is not any the less important.

The new exhibition takes the theme of friendship and, at the same time, attempts to compose a portrait which does not attempt to create a realistic likeness, instead being constructed mainly from the artist's own memories. Handa Gote has compiled the installation from tiny fragments of the life of their friend: Ondřej Havránek, captured in photographs, audio and video recordings. Such ephemeral items are here exhibited along with other objects, related to his interests and activities.

This exhibition is the group's first opportunity to present and interpret as a whole a wealth of material that they began collecting (unintentionally at first, then later more systematically) in 1991.

Though, most of the data and artifacts from these years has been irreparably damaged or even lost. How does the media refuse of our lives allow us to reconstruct a representation of reality? Where does reality start and where does selective memory, fiction and imagination begin?

Ondřej Havranek was born February 27, 1973 in Nový Bor, where he still lives. He works in the administration of the North Bohemian water supply company, is married, and the father of two children. He is also a beekeeper and the front man of the local rock band Candát.

Handa Gote is an art group, with interests varying from sound installations of instruments, movement and visual theater, as well as live music and research in the field of media archeology, art and theater technology. They are influenced by minimalism, Eastern philosophy and the DO IT YOURSELF movement. In their work they combine a local version of DIY with the recycling of objects and use of low-fi technologies. They are inspired by Cargo cults, and the Japanese esthetic categories called Mono and Wabi Sabi.

Translation by Lloyd Dunn