31. October 2017 - 24. November 2017
Public space CZ − City landscape
Jaroslav Fragner Gallery, Betlémské nám. 5a, Prague 1
31. October 2017 - 24. November 2017
The exhibition is a result of the collaboration of three curators: architect and art theorist Petr Kratochvil from the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Dan Merta from the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague and Gabriel Kurtis from the Gallery of Architecture in Brno. The growing number of urban competitions, high-quality media productions and a number of activities that highlight the importance of public space are evidence of the fact that this subject is very lively and up-to-date both home and in the world.
"The topic of urban public space, its threats and possible renewal are the key topics of urban debate and urban policies in many countries today. Many interesting attempts how to return the city space among important categories of city planning, how to find its current form and content, how to strengthen its social role and aesthetic appeal by architectural means, this all point to the fact that the debate on public space is very lively in the contemporary world architecture. The regular European Prize for Urban Public Space, followed by a showcase of winning achievements, shows that major cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, Ljubljana, as well as a number of smaller European cities, cares about public urban spaces and their extraordinary attention to their original,” introduces the theme of the public space the curator of the exhibition Prof. Petr Kratochvíl.
“In many ways, this positive turnaround can also be found in Czech and Moravian cities. We can record here efforts to set urban public spaces free from the dominance of automobile transport and their return to wider social and relaxation functions. Many centres - in particular the historic ones - of towns and rural settlements have undergone regeneration in the last two decades, including the cultivation of their main squares and streets. Explicitly, we can name the Deer Moat at the Prague Castle, the reconstruction of the Moravian Square and the Joštova Street in Brno, the square in Olomouc, Frýdlant, numerous public spaces in Litomyšl, the Cheb's pedestrian zone, the Gahura Prospect in Zlín and many others whose standard architectural standards exceeds common traffic regulation of the space and equipment with a new surface or furniture. Notable less traditional forms of public spaces, such as the reconstructed industrial area of Dolní Vítkovice, the space for new forms of sports such as the Ladronka area or the Maxipes Fík embankment in Kadaň, belong to another interesting achievements. Attention is also paid to various artistic or civic activities, which are temporary, but they can initially take effect - the Brno Statues in the streets, the national festival called the Different City Experience and others,” adds Petr Kratochvíl to the exhibition.
"The choice of realisations was not easy. Initially, we wanted to document as many projects as possible, but during the preparation of the materials we were surprised by a number of quality realizations in the Czech and Moravian areas. The final selection is not only a cross-section of the best-known public spaces, but also an example of less-known public spaces and activities that merit our attention because of their quality and importance, "adds Gabriel Kurtis.
At the exhibition in Brno there will also be presented the Manual for the Creation of Public Spaces of the City of Prague made by the IPR Prague Institute of Planning and Development, which summarizes the principles, rules and recommendations for quality creation of public spaces. The manual has served as a basic document for a conceptual approach to public spaces in Prague for several years and is thus also an inspiration for other Czech cities. The installation will also present the current Prague Chair & Tables project, which in a simple way revives Prague's public spaces in the summer months, and involves active citizens, associations and institutions in the co-development of a pleasant and inhabitable city.