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Because it is there

Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Praha MeetFactory
Because it is thereBecause it is thereBecause it is thereBecause it is there

18. 9. - 24. 9. 2015

18. 9. a 24. 9.
Curators: Agnieszka Kilian, Jaro Varga  

"Because it is there" was the answer George Mallory gave to a New York Times’ journalist who had inquired about the alpinist’s motives for climbing Mount Everest. What may seem to be a runaround—or, at best, a curt statement—inspires a set of questions we would like to address in a series of performative events. They touch upon the will to “attain the unattainable”, our cognitive limits, the possibility of getting out of one’s body and—last but not least—upon constructing survival tactics on the basis of tacit knowledge. We are going to examine the actual vector of the question posed to Mallory as well as the core meaning of his answer: because it is there. One hypothetical motive for aiming at “a primary experience” is regaining the connection with one’s self in a place devoid of any human traces. Reasons why people long for such circumstances will be brought into focus in course of screenings, audio performances and a performative lecture. All of them will count for an attempt to reveal—not necessarily using words, especially in regards to “the tacit”—the existential condition as seen against the experience of finitude and the objective realm of nature.  

18th September, 6 pm – Theater hall:

- "Epic of Mount Everest" screening (directed by John Noel, 1922)
- performative discussion/meeting: Maxime Guitton and Agnieszka Kilian

24th September, 5 pm – Theater hall:

- performative lecture "Romanian DIY" by Bogdan Achimescu
- open discussion "Out of the body into the mind" Jelena Martinovic

Bogdan Achimescu
– visual artist, born in Timisiora (Romania); graduated from the Visual Arts Academy in Cluj. His work was featured at Venice Biennale in 2001 within the Context Network project at the Romanian pavillion. He collaborated with the Berlin-based Urban Art group. He is a lecturer and head of the Intermedia Department at the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków. He participated in multiple exhibitions in Poland and abroad. In his artistic practice Achimescu focuses on the DIY culture, using such media as, among all, drawing and photography. He is based in Kraków.

Maxime Guitton
is in charge of the Soutien à la création, a service which supports contemporary creation through grants and funds to visual artists, publishers, art dealers, art critics and film producers at the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) in Paris. Since 2003, he has been developing free-lance music programming activities in a variety of independent venues, art spaces and museums (Le BAL, CAPC, Centre Pompidou, etc.). He has been assisting composer Eliane Radigue between 2009 through 2011. His fields of research have led him to be invited by art schools and institutions for classes, workshops, lectures and listening sessions in France and Switzerland (ECAL, Ecole du Magasin, INHA, Bétonsalon, Musée de la Main UNIL-CHUV, etc.). In 2014, he curated Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson's solo exhibition, "a drusy vein" (Treize, Paris). Along with Benoît Hické, he completed in 2015 the programming of "Montagnes: la terre exhaussée", a cycle of film screenings, lectures and acousmatic diffusion about mountains at the National Museum of Natural History (Paris).

Jelena Martinovic
is an artist and historian living and working in Lausanne and Geneva. She is currently senior researcher in the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNFS) project Mind Control. Radical Experiments in Art and Psychology, 1960-70(HEAD-Geneva) and collaborator of the Institute of history of medicine (IUHMSP, University of Lausanne). Her book PEAK PERFORMANCE will be published in December 2015 featuring texts and artworks that deal with an esthetic, psychological and physiological approach of the ascent of a mountain. The book results out of a two-year project she has conducted with master students in visual art at HEAD-Geneva (Work.Master). In spring 2016 her book on an inquiry on near-death experiences will be published by MetisPresses, Geneva (it is a book version of her dissertation, completed in 2013).

The exhibition is a part of the programme entitled “Place Called Space”, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in frame of the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme 2007 – 2013.

Project co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.