Jiří Valoch - The Power of the Powerless
Zuccato Gallery, Poreč, Croatia
05. July 2016 - 23. July 2016


curator: Ivana Janković

As part of the Artist on Vacation 2016 at Valamar project, happening for a fifth consecutive year, there will be an exhibition of Jiří Valoch, an artist, art theorist, professor and curator, a distinguished individual who, in the difficult political period of the Cold War and the geopolitical divide on the Western and Eastern bloc, transformed Brno, from an almost provincial town, to an international cultural center. His contribution to contemporary art is seen in the numerous exhibitions and publications, as well as other events on which world-acclaimed experts from Europe and the entire world participated. The rich documentation, as well as artistic production, which is now a part of numerous public and private collections worldwide, are a great witness to that.

Jiří Valoch's exhibition is the first succinct retrospective exhibition and an introduction to a great retrospective exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb. The curator of the exhibition is Ivana Janković, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.

The works exhibited are a part of the regionally, and in general, unique collection of documentation and artworks of Avant-Garde art and radical practices, the Marinko Sudac Collection, which comprises of works from 1914 to 1989 with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Valoch's works in the Collection are representative of a long-term process of systematic collecting in the period of 16 years. This practice compliments the Collection's strategy, which is focused on researching and understanding of Neo-Avant-Garde practices, which arose from the Avant-Garde of the pre-war period.

The core of the exhibition are the works created in the 60s and 70s of the 20th c., and they show a wide range of interests of the artist - from photograms and frotages inspired by the experiences of the pre-war Avant-Garde, radical conceptual projects and photographic series, visual and concrete poetry, visual musical scores, verbo-visual installations, as well as other interesting conceptual practices, actions performed in the spirit of Fluxus, examples of Land Art, and Body Art. 

Jiří Valoch, art theorist, curator, artist and poet, was born in 1946. He finished his studies of Czech and German language and Aesthetics in 1970 with a thesis on the development and typology of experimental poetry at the Masaryk University in Brno. He started creating visual poetry in 1963, and from early 70s he engaged in many conceptual practices. Since 1966, he is an art critic, theorist, and curator, and he participated in numerous events in the unofficial scene. He organized an exhibition of computer graphics in Brno in 1968. This exhibition preceded the Tendencies 4 event in Zagreb and London's Cybernetic Serendipity. A year later he held an exhibition of sheet music titled Partitury – hudební grafika, with exhibitors including the most significant Fluxus representatives - George Maciunas, Ken Friedman, Ben Vautier, George Brecht, and others. From 1972 to 2001 he worked on exhibition organization in the Brno House of Arts (Dom umění města Brna), and from 2002 to 2011 he worked in the National Gallery in Prague. As a curator in Brno, he organized numerous exhibitions of important Czechoslovakian artists of the unofficial scene, from Vladimir Boudnik, Jiří Kolar, Bela Kolarova, Adriena Šimotova, Ladislav Novak, Stano Filko and others. After the exhibition Contemporary Czech Drawing, he was forbidden to publish. In the eighties, he organized retrospective exhibitions of key Czech artists Vaclav Boštík, Milan Knížák, and others, and after 1990 he curated exhibitions which included important international artists such as Robert Barry. He exhibited his works from 1966 on numerous solo and group exhibitions in the country and abroad, and from 1968 to 1972 he was a member of the Club of the Concretists (Klub konkretistů). He lives in Brno.

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