SurVivArt - Arts, Environment, and Gender (In)Equality

Media Art and nature merging in urban space. Photo: Michal Kindernay, Guy Van Belle, et. al. – Art Pollution Kit  

January 24, 2012
SurVivArt has been inspired by the German Kulturstiftung’s initiative Über Lebenskunst and developed by the Heinrich Böll Foundation HQ with support from its offices around the world. By joining the “SurVivArt” initiative the Heinrich Böll Foundation Prague would like to contribute to the international mosaic with a rather different perspective. The Prague office has not approached any artists to elaborate a specific art project. The aim of the Prague project in its first phase is to provide a broader insight into contemporary artists’ practices, issues and projects in the Czech Republic and to outline whether and how they respond to current social and environmental challenges. In cooperation with the Czech Arts and Theatre Institute two studies were commissioned: “The Arts and Environmental Sustainability”, and “The Arts and Gender (In)Equality”. The studies deliver a structured overview on the above mentioned issues. They include a description of contemporary art pieces and projects, considering different art genres. The authors are Lenka Dolanová and Martina Pachmanová.

The studies are a first attempt to critically reflect upon the contemporary arts discourse on gender and environmental issues in the Czech Republic. This pilot project collects pioneering projects and brave attempts. The studies analyse the barriers and challenges artists are confronted with, too. Even though gender issues are in the Czech context relatively new, gender related arts seem to be an established discourse having its ups and downs during the past 20 years. There are many well-known artists and academics elaborating the issue. In comparison to that environmental art can be tracked to the 70s and 80s (land art or action art). However today, it is still searching its face and position somewhere between site-specific intervention in industrial areas or urban spaces, new technology laboratories and design.

Zdeňka Lammelová and Eva van de Rakt

English executive summaries of the studies are available here:

“Artists - Growers, Environmental Barometers, Public Space Ecologists...Ecology as a Theme in Contemporary Art“

“The Arts and Gender (In)Equality”

Video documentary about the international conference and exhibition "On a different soil / Growth in art, society and culture", Prague, November 10-13, 2011.