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.