Curated by Lenka Dolanová and Michal Kindernay
Opening: Thursday, November 20, with the performance Hive Synthesis by Bioni Samp at 6 PM
Discussion with urban beekeepers: Friday 21, 6pm, with a tasting of honey specialities by chef Filip Kavka Smiggels.
The exhibition is dedicated to both urban beekeeping and artistic projects involving bees. A few years ago, urban beekeeping became a popular pastime, and today we can see hives on the rooftops of cultural institutions, restaurants and shopping centers, and in city parks and gardens. One thing is shared among most urban beekeepers: the desire to do things differently, and the primary goal is not to harvest as much honey as possible. In addition, in cities more specialized forms of beekeeping have bee cultivated than in the countryside.
Beekeeping is attractive because it connects with agriculture, craftsmanship and DIY practices, as well as other disciplines (phenology, meteorology, chemistry, etc.). An ideal beekeeper is a a man of many talents, little bit carpenter, ecologist and cook.
The exhibition examines current approaches to beekeeping. Selected works are from the boundaries of art and research, and the creators are mostly practicing beekeepers. The exhibition will feature artists from all over the world. British artist Bioni Samp records audio frequencies inside the beehive in the series Hive Synthesis. The theme of Annemie Maes’ installation (in cooperation with the Brussels art centre OKNO) is apian society. She will present the results of monitoring bees on the rooftops of Brussels, and objects made of wax. Julie Andreyev researches the social functions of insects. Her installation (in cooperation with Simon Overstall) converts twitter conversations into insect structures. Sound part of the project was realised also with the help of Till Bovermann (the Hive Five Project - Tangible Auditory Interfaces Studio for the use of the bee hive audio recordings). Canadian filmmaker Gerda Johanna Cammaer confronts the phenomenon of global extinction of honeybees with the disappearance of analog film. By manipulating a found silent instructional film from the 1940s, she sees the beehive as a centre of creativity. In contrast, Romanian artists Irina Gheorghe and Alina Popa (BMR) will present their video compilation Honey in connection with the Hollywood melodrama. Éric Tourneret captures photos of beekeeping all around the world. He will present a selection of photographs dedicated to urban beekeeping. Czech beekepers are represented by the artist Jan Karpíšek, whose bees contribute to the processing of his canvases.
On Friday 21 November there will be a discussion with beekeepers and artists from Prague, London, Brussels and other cities, focused on practical experience and the motivations of urban beekeepers, the methods of working with local communities, the various problems and specifics of bee pasturage in big cities. Do the city bees really produce more honey? Is urban bee pasturage really more varied and does the honey from cities taste differently? What dis/advantages does the close coexistence of people and bees bring?
This exhibition is part of Alotof - A laboratory on the open fields project supported with funding from EU Culture, the Ministry of Culture ČR and Státní fond kultury ČR, and is organised in cooperation with Yo-yo non-profit organization.