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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Alena Foustková

First Name
Alena
Surname
Foustková
Born
1957
Birth place
Karviná
Place of work
Černošice and Prague
Website
www.alenafoustkova.wordpress.com
Keywords
installation art
object
CSU Library
↳ Find in the catalogue

About artist

In 2010 Alena Foustková excited interest at the Gallery of Art Critics by the way she reflected anew on the character of language and text in our genuine current communication; on how what we perceived two or three decades ago as new aesthetic information, be this in the form of collage interventions in texts, the use of typeface or various forms of books, more and more finds itself at variance with the “world around us”, how the world of advertising and superfluous pseudo-information overburdens us.

 

In the first part of her collection Blansko (April 2011), Foustková examined a phenomenon which from the point of view of the contemporary world she finds exemplarily ambivalent for our situation: bar codes. These allow her to make visible the overloaded world of consumerism. She selected a code from close to her home in Prague, a city perceived as a place for successful people, and began to introduce subtle conceptual doubts or (self)irony. Gradually, using various methods, she made visible the entirety of the ambivalence of the bar code: while beautiful, a purely geometrical structure, even minimalistic, its application is nevertheless highly ambivalent... In every example of the system of lines we discover an evidently aesthetic quality, and yet its utilitarian function is completely different, namely to expand still further the world of consumption into new spheres and territories, be this in geographical space or in new spheres of activity. Sometimes Foustková confronts bar codes with a painting, other times she creates them from several books on a small shelf, and they achieve their most monumental form in sui generis spatial sculpture created from rectangular cardboard boxes … Their new semantic and aesthetic qualities are uniquely revealed during their multi-surface layering, which is the theme of the monumental head-on exhibition from transparency in the first hall. In this way Alena Foustková has introduced the bar code as a new, current, but above all incredibly ambivalent phenomenon into our contemporary creative culture. In the second room further possibilities of handmade articulated books are explored. Foustková sometimes tears or crumples white paper into the form of a book, or connects the paper with a single line. The main exhibit is the installation at the front: in an almost meditative (or almost prison-like?) enclosure the artist cut out the relevant forms from all the different types of newspapers and magazines which surround us and glued together paper pouches from them (!!!), which hang on hooks, again in a kind of minimalist structure. However, here the interaction with the viewer is even more fundamental: we were all requested to be aware not only of the aesthetic quality, but the semantics of the selected sequence of messages: and then we blew up those which most annoyed or surprised us and popped them loudly… Soon after the private viewing these destroyed forms of the original structure began to accumulate. The artist thus brought into our art the ambivalent character of that information which we cannot ignore, and allowed us to play with the possibility of violently destroying a piece of information at least by means of the pars pro toto principle. Early on in the private viewing this popping sound became prevalent, so here too the artist had clearly touched on one of the sensitive phenomena of the world around us. In this way Alena Foustková gradually discovers new phenomena, phenomena which always had their own aesthetic and communicative quality but which are more and more becoming ambivalent or explicitly unpleasant to our ordinary healthy civic awareness.

 

 

CV

Studies and stipends:
1976-1982 Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Studio od Graphics, profesor Čepelák
1985 George Brown College, Toronto, Canada

Awards:
2006 New York Festival-Print Finalist
2005 Cresta New York Awards-Print Finalist
2005 Golden Effie
2004 Golden Drum-Silver-Print

Employment:
2013 Anglo American University, Prague, Czech Republic
2011-present ESC - Empire State College, New York, lecturer
2009-present University of New York in Prague, UNYP, Academic Board Representative
2008-2009 Associated Creative Director, JWT Prague
2000-2008 EURO RSCG, Prague, Creative Leader
1995-2000 Saatchi&Saatchi, Prague, Senior Art Director
1990-1995 Gingko Group, Toronto, Canada, Senior Art Director
1986-1990 Weiss & Associates, Toronto, Canada, Art Director

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2013
Gallery Sam83, Česká Bříza, Czech Republic

2012
Bohemian National House, BBLA Gallery, New York, USA
University of Tampa, USA, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery

2011
Základní paměť, Vernon projekt Gallery
Galerie města Blanska, Blansko
Galerie Školská 28, Praha, projekt "Bílý nástěnka" - kinetický objekt

2010
Galerie kritiků, Praha, samostatná výstava

2008
Galerie Kruh, Ostrava, samostatná výstava

2005
Art Canada 5, Výstavní síň Novoměstské radnice, Praha,
společná výstava 5 česko-kanadských výtvarnic

1989
Toronto, Kanada, samostatná výstava

1986/1994
Miniature Art, Toronto, účast na každoročních mezinárodních výstavách

1983
Galerie Dílo, Ostrava, samostatná výstava

1981
Galerie Fronta, Praha, společná výstava absolventů grafiky ateliéru
prof. Čepeláka

Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
2013
Transgender me, Berlin, Germany

2012
DOX, Centre For Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic

2011
Kit Schulte Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Gallery G, Olomouc, Czech Republic

2005
Art Canada 5, Gallery of New City Hall, Prague, Czech Republic

1981
Gallery Fronta, Prague, Czech Republic
Collections
Private collections in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, United States and Canada.
Other realisations

2011

Galerie Školská 28, Praha, projekt "Bílý nástěnka" - kinetický objekt

 

Illustrations, graphic design:

2002 K. Räber, Infusion gegen die Traurigkeit, Švýcarsko - grafická úprava a ilustrace obalky

2000 W. Saroyan, Bláznivost v rodině, Argo - grafická úprava knihy a ilustrace

1982 Jar. Seifert, Pocta Vladimíru Holanovi - originální tisky suché jehly, bibliofilské vydání

Photo

Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2017
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