MeetFactory was founded in 2001 by David Černý. The purpose of this organisation is to support and develop contemporary art and culture and to make it accessible to the public. MeetFactory is unique in its attempt to to connect art, theatre, film, music and educational programs. It also provides its facilities to its resident artists, who come from all around the world, thereby connecting the domestic and international art scenes.
MeetFactory has its own music programme which is focused on the independent music scene; 6-8 performances are held per month in the music hall which is fitted with high-end audio equipment. The theatre programme is focused on the political dimension of the theatre and the role of technology in our lives but also deals with the idea of art: what it can change and what its true meaning and scope in life actually is. There are three galleries in the MeetFactory building: the national and international art scenes are given space for critical confrontation in the main MeetFactory Gallery, Cube Gallery is for short-term exhibitions of little-known artists, and Wall Gallery is for experimental exhibitions of drawings and paintings, ranging towards and including classical graffiti. Finally, it is necessary to mention the international residency programme in which MeetFactory hosts contemporary artists: artists, musicians but also writers, who present their work to the public via the regular event of Open Studios which takes place approximately once a month.
MeetFactory also has a café, and in summer there is a garden with a barbeque. Open daily from 13:00 to 20:00 according to the programme.
MeetFactory 2011 - 2012
The basis of the project and its originality is an interdisciplinary complex of dramaturgic series based on the international residential program already successfully proven in past gallery activities. In MeetFactory, fine arts, theatre, film, music and educational programs closely meet together. A detailed description is further presented in individual chapters.
Based on existing serious cooperation,
in 2010 - 2011 MeetFactory is also a guaranteed partner of the Goethe-Institute in Prague, the Czech-German Fund For The Future, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Dutch Embassy in Prague, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, PAKT Gallery in Amsterdam, the Mondriaan Foundation, the theatre institute in Giessen, the Visegrad Foundation, the Mexican Embassy, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, the Calouse Gulbenkian Foundation, Instituto Camoes in Prague, the American Embassy in Prague and others. These institutions participate in the selection of residents and supported projects, hence the quality of realised projects.
All partnerships always respectfully follow the support of HMP and MK CR.
Program quality guarantee
A reliable guarantee of the stable artistic quality of MeetFactory is a multi-layered evaluation of program plans, and their results so far.
Both curator and dramaturge actively cooperate with a circle of respected foreign experts creating a recommendation and consulting body. It is an open group of 8 – 10 significant artists and curators composed of personalities appointed by foreign project partners and art world authorities cooperating directly with MeetFactory. The advisory body recommends artists from various regions and art fields. Whether the pre-selected artists will be accepted to the program and dramaturgic plan is then decided by the MeetFactory art council (art departments – Tomáš Pospiszyl, David Černý, Jan H. Vitvar and MeetFactory curator for 2010 – 2011 Dušan Zahoranský; theatre – Lenka Jungmannová, Alice Nellis, MeetFactory dramaturge – Jan Horák; music – David Koller, Marek Gregor, Pavel Fajt, Lukáš Kolíbal, MeetFactory dramaturge – Michal Brenner).
MeetFactory ateliers and studios
The International atelier residential program allows artists to work for two to twelve months in equipped ateliers. Having one’s own studio in Prague with a direct possibility of confrontation and cooperation creates opportunities to develop artistically, and especially at the beginning of an art carrier, it is a priceless experience for creative fruitfulness.
MeetFactory provides space, basic equipment, consultancy services and production cooperation in preparation of public presentations in the following creative areas: fine arts, music, dance and theatre, film, new media, and literary production. Under a special regime, the residents can also use sophisticated technical equipment (for example a 3D scanner, sound equipment, graphic or recording studios, etc.). The non-conformist environment of the MeetFactory complex offers variability and open opportunities.
The MeetFactory atelier program accomodates approximately 30 residents, and outside the residential program about 10 more individuals and teams per year. The project makes use of fifteen studios; two halls, galleries, a project room for a short-term use and different work stations and backgrounds. Children can enjoy an ongoing child atelier and playroom.
All program participants are selected by the MeetFactory art council. Placement of foreign residents is decided upon by the council based on a recommended pre-selection of the international advisory committee.
From 2010, the MeetFactory residency will be realised in cooperation with the Goethe-Institute in Prague, the Czech-German For The Future, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Dutch Embassy in Prague, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, PAKT gallery in Amsterdam, the Mondriaan Foundation, the theatre institute in Giessen, the Visegrad Foundation, the Mexican Embassy, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, the Calouse Gulbenkian Foundation, Instituto Camoes in Prague and the American Embassy in Prague. Apart from the previously listed institutions, cooperation with Finnish and Albanian institutions will be open.
The main objective of the MeetFactory (MF) Gallery exhibition concept is to connect the Czech art stage with progressive foreign art. The stress is on the presentation of contemporary foreign artists, curators and their active engagement in the Czech art field, which presumes a reciprocal incorporation of Czech art into the world context. The MF Gallery concept comes from MF’s multifunctional environment that allows the creators to overlap with other artistic genres. Due to its residential background, whose program is done in accordance with the gallery program, artists can benefit from concentrated long-term work with the space.
The MF Gallery dramaturgy focuses on larger curator projects of an international character, part of which are often also various Czech artists; further independent presentations of artists and groups, and exhibitions produced by the artists themselves. A characteristic element of the MF exhibition disposition is an experimental approach in exhibition production, where the organisers allow artists and curators freedom to work with the exhibition space without interference with the creation process. On the contrary, they strive to provide „ideal“ conditions for artwork to be created. As in past years, the MF Gallery is prepared to present a number of world famous names. It is also open to progressive marginal or controversial expressions that should contribute to opening a discussion about the actual state of contemporary society, culture and art.
The Gallery program, apart from residential and foreign artists, also accentuates the contemporary Czech art scene. It actively mediates foreign artists and curators a deeper understanding of Czech fine artists and supports opportunities for their mutual cooperation in prepared exhibitions (for example exhibiting foreign artists can suggest any Czech artist whom they prefer to have their exhibition realised). Our target is also to allow artists contact with other local galleries presenting contemporary art also outside the capital of Prague. An ideal state is a natural integration of Czech artists into the foreign artistic framework and artistic presentations of actual world issues to the Czech public.
The MF Gallery also includes short-term interventions, providing space for presentations and theory in the form of lectures, presentations of significant foreign and Czech artists and curators, multimedia laboratories, fashion shows, alternative concerts and performances and others.
During the artist’s selection, a presentation of contemporary foreign artists and curators of international importance is largely emphasized. Exhibition projects and artists themselves are recommended by foreign and Czech advisors – experts.
The dramaturgic objective of the MF Gallery also presumes an active interconnection with other art fields, which operate in MF (theatre, film, new media, music etc.). MF´s objective is to create an open communication platform with an exhibition program that is concentrated on the long-term on presentations of progressive tendencies and contemporary global and Czech art scene issues. The gallery initiates a deeper and more intense contact of foreign artists and curators with the Czech scene via creative residential programs.
The program structure constitutes three types of projects:
1. Exhibition projects of MeetFactory residents with participation of Czech artists
2. Coproduction projects with prestigious foreign galleries and curators
3. Curator projects and individual exhibitions of foreign artists
Theatre dramaturgy continues the line that has been developed since spring 2008 (9 premieres and productions before the end of 2009). The desired objective is to connect Czech and international theatre stages and to overcome traditional genre limitations towards blending of genres and artistic fields.
Authors’ projects and cooperation between foreign and Czech producers with a full utilisation of the residential background are fundamental prerequisites of international theatre. Theatre dramaturgy therefore aims at continual work mainly with foreign directors. Individual projects are realised long enough in advance in order to get the highest quality results. It is a demanding process, where language barriers become an advantage because a maximum concentration on words and their real meanings can be reached. The working process is always extremely concentrated, and demands intensive mutual communication.
The theatre dramaturgy uses an atelier program; it realises a residential concept creating a unique opportunity for a long-term working meeting of international theatre authors. The result is mainly the research and presentation of individual approaches and directions that are presented to the public in form of seminars, workshops and theatre productions.
All projects under the MeetFactory theatre dramaturgy require a deep knowledge of current international theatre, which is a long term process, for which there are theatre authors from all around the world acting as consultants.
The MeetFactory theatre dramaturgy is opened widely to the author’s approach (a related effort to initiate the creation of new theatre texts and their presentation). The selection of authors, apart from their quality, largely depends on their willingness to experiment and work under the demanding yet inspiring conditions of a distinctive cultural centre.
Music at MeetFactory
MeetFactory remains true to its intention to enrich the Prague music spectrum and is always open to cooperation with modern and flexible foreign groups, just as in other fields. An accoustically and technically well-equipped hall with an average capacity of 600 people provides for an outstanding music stage under high quality conditions. Apart from a new dramaturgic perspective given by the results of residential stays (for example Alexander Hacke, residents of Nuevos Ricos studio, residents BAM NYC, ISCM Ams.), MeetFactory will continue the proven coproduction projects requiring an unusual and nonconformist environment. Staying open to various music genres, from classical to rock, from experimental to jazz to folk music and more, attracts coproduction partners.
Music production program structure:
Concert club line
In cooperation with progressive dramaturges MeetFactory will produce a number of concerts incorporated into planned tours of famous foreign bands and music personalities. Because the realisation of a dramaturgic category is based on negotiating good conditions in a strongly competitive confrontation, individual titles cannot be listed yet.
Music + Visual Art
A collection of „audiovisual events.“ The concept reacts to the vacuum existing in the field of established art presentations including so-called new media. It is based on their connection. Live artists on stage, musicians and DJ´s, VJ´s, performers, dancers, scenography, decorations, graphics, computer programs – all in new relationships and unusual, creative contexts. It is the new culture of the 21st century. We will introduce new or unusual works on our domestic stage for this relatively young field in connection with lectures and presentations in this part of the project.
Contemporary and future dance scene
MeetFactory opens a popular line of interactive shows that last long into the night. By a combination of creative music methods and relatively marginal music genres that come mainly from the underground, unique music is produced for listening and dancing.
In this program category a unique prerequisite of success is simply the MeetFactory environment, a location which provides freedom for needed volume even after 10 PM. Apart from a rich scale of headlining artists, we prepare also less costly productions. As in other parts of the program, the objective is to mediate the blending of various foreign scenes with the domestic.
The block provides the listeners an intimate experience with a chamber, instrumental and often non-amplified music. The atmosphere of a jazz club will alternate with a French music café scene, a chamber concert hall or a New York club.
Apart from the series already mentioned, there are traditional music productions complementing exhibition opening and premieres program. Their character is always subject to the main theme of the exhibition or theatre production.
Trainspotting DJ Bar
A favourite evening and night line of relaxed DJ productions with a chance to watch passing trains.
Guests and rentals
MeetFactory is available to host productions with a character that is in accordance with the MeetFactory mission.
MeetFactory does not provide any space to mass mainstream.
MeetFactory Film Club
The MeetFactory film dramaturgy concept is a film club of registered members and participants of the residential program. It is based on live communication with the visitors.
The Film Club program intentionally approaches expressive characters mainly in artistic circles throughout all genres. Cooperating persons are carefully selected with respect to variety and quality; they become dramaturges with a certain freedom to realise one or more film evenings according to a previously agreed dramaturgic plan. Film Club members play an important role themselves; they are given an opportunity to participate in the final character of the evening. Each projection is moderated by a specific dramaturge, and ideally, there is a lecture with a field expert as well. Such a concept provides program variability with emphasis on quality overlapping with the subject. Presumably, there is a natural dialogue regarding specific projects that provides a relaxed atmosphere for the productions.
Based on previous experience, the MeetFactory Film Club is profiled as a place open to minorities as well as the wider public.
The MeetFactory program line blends various art fields, and is mainly focused on quality programs for a demanding and educated audience. The Film Club should also present art for the wider public. The summer film projection similarly attracts a nontraditional audience to MeetFactory, and acts as a cultural centre for Prague 5 citizens.
The MeetFactory film club now has about 200 registered members.
Lectures, discussions, author readings
This program category includes the imminent participation of a debater and a visitor to MeetFactory to discuss actual issues and new opinions. The shape of evenings is created by a relaxed educational program visited by the public, including those from outside Prague.
The Program is composed by thematic evenings dedicated mainly to literature, film and theatre. The plan includes evenings with the translators Dana Hábová, Petr Štědroň, writer Petra Hůlová, Jan Balabán, publisher Joachim Dvořák, Ivan Mečl or theoretician Jana Pilátová and Zuzana Augustová. Expert lectures by the members of the MeetFactory art council often accompany forthcoming group foreign visits.
In the context of the city of Prague, MeetFactory is a unique interdisciplinary institution that connects individual dramaturgic lines from the fields of fine arts, theatre, music and other areas with the background of a residential program. The unique complex represents 5000m2 of multifunctional studios, ateliers, and halls filled with the creative symbiosis of artists active in various fields. Program quality is a condition and a guarantee of functional long-term cooperation with various foreign partners. The courage to experiment in all art fields provides for the creation of new international creative teams. In the long-term, the exhibition program focuses on presentation of Czech and international contemporary art. It uses a specific and variable exhibition space that by its character and size has no competitors amongst Prague galleries. Theatre dramaturgy presents the projects of cooperating Czech and foreign creators that are produced specifically for MeetFactory. Music dramaturgy introduces a new program. About 300 public presentations are visited by about 30,000 people per year. Atelier utilization is almost always 100%.