Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2020

Six finalists from the ranks of visual artists up to the age of 35 were selected by an international jury for the 31st

edition of  Jindřich Chalupecký Award out of more than 80 submitted portfolios. The final selection represents

a broad variety of media and theoretical approaches and renging from material approaches to sculpture, object,

drawing and painting through multimedia installations to social engagement and theoretical-scientific research

practise. For the first time in the Award's history, the exhibition of  Jindřich Chalupecký Award will have no winner

due to the decision of participating artists who refuse the principe of competition. This will grant equal to fully

focus on the artworks without having to compare them. The artists have created new works for the exhibition

installed in the generous space of PLATO Gallery, with some of them responding to local  „temporary structures”

such as the library, cinema and stage.

 Gears of Life (2020)*

The works by Jakub Choma are rooted in painting and his realizations still allude to this medium, despite their

essential shift towards spatial object installation. Nevertheless, his works still include fragments of graphic art, use

of primary color pigments as well as planar references and orientation towards horizontally installed suspended

artifacts. The resulting scrums of artistic objects with trash aesthetics alluding to DIY principles are typical for their

seemingly chaotic character and confrontation of diverse materials. Most of the primary impulses for the individual

artworks stem from the digital environment which is daily consumed by Jakub as a representative of the youngest

generation of contemporary artists. Cut-outs of the flat and depersonalized online world in the form of visual

impulses and text fragments return to the physical world through material experiments, becoming brand new

entities with unexpected qualities which can be then filtered back into virtuality through the personality of the

artist, thus constituting a new technological “life cycle.” Choma’s multimedia and multidimensional worlds are

linked by a fascination by the liminal moments of the inexplicable, unspecific, untold. He always takes two levels

into consideration – the work may be experienced by viewers physically present in the gallery as well as by online

viewers interacting with the work through the display of their smartphones. Nevertheless, both types of viewers 

are usually left to wonder about the materials, physical qualities and origins of the created objects.

In his spatially expansive installation made for Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2020, the artist goes the farthest within

his practice of accumulation of materials, structures, allusions and indicated events. Jakub Choma created a  

spatially and thematically expansive multimedia installation entitled Gears of Life consisting of several  

environments with diverse architectures representing individual metaphorical worlds. These can be a fragmented

sci-fi story of travelling through alternative universes, a physical embodiment of going through a computer game

 as well as a window into the artist’s mind. The artist is always latently present in the installation, as he has literally

imprinted himself into  the exhibited object in the form of digital prints of his body parts on cork boards found at all

the imaginary stops of the scattered environment which seems to have exploded in the gallery space. These

echoes of the human body in a strange plastic-steel-wooden labyrinth allude both to their maker and to a live

performance through which Choma repeatedly activates the installation throughout the exhibition. Passing

through the individual environments and interacting with them shows the unlimited potential of the individual

objects while challenging their purpose and function - the image of an original artistic artifact is disrupted the

moment it becomes a prop.