Milan Knížák (b. 1940, Plzeň) lives in Prague and he is a pioneer of performance art, and creator of the first happenings in former Czechoslovakia. Knížák founded a social organisation in Prague which was active between 1963 and 1971 called Aktuální umění ("Aktual" from 1966 on), which staged numerous participatory actions. He was an important participant in the Fluxus movement, where its founder Maciunas gave him the title of "Director of Fluxus East" in 1965, and he organised a Fluxus concert in Prague, together with Dick Higgins, Ben Vautier and Alison Knowles. His notable series of works is Broken Music, created by damaging gramophone records, glueing together fragments, painting or breaking them, then playing them and recording the results.
For the project, Knížák sends a photograph from his home, with the now almost unavoidable piece of accessory – medical mask. With it, he claims he would be "ready to rob a bank".
Artists Respond project was started by the Institute for the Research of the Avant-Garde and the Marinko Sudac Collection. Addressing the current global pandemic, the project aims to virtually present the thoughts and attitudes of neo-avant-garde artists, their energy and the message they have for the present moment. This is the moment in which the world as we know it is on hold and the moment in which we need optimism and solidarity more than ever. We wish for the public to welcome the creative energy of these artists - artists who are ready to point out the state of things, to respond with art and creativity, as they have done in all difficult times in the past.