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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Martin Kohout

First Name
Other names - aliases
Birth place
Place of work
Berlin, Frankfurt
installation art
public art
CSU Library
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About artist

Kohout used to work under the pseudonym *pash, and began his artistic activities while still young. He belongs to the generation no longer encumbered by the memory of totalitarianism, at least not directly. However, unlike his contemporaries something remains of this historical memory in his approach. At the age of 22 (2006) he set up the selective culture journal jlbjlt.net [pronounced jelibojelito] on a non-commercial basis. The site still operates without advertising and is intended mainly for non-profit galleries, theatre ensembles or bands as an open information server. Its mission statement makes this clear: “We help promote culture of marginal interest but of considerable importance.” While still at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), between 2008 and 2010 he visited the Gregor Schneider studio at Universität der Künste (UdK) in Berlin, and since last year has been studying at the Städelschule in Frankfurt at the Simon Starling studio. Despite his activities abroad, he has not abandoned the Czech art scene and regularly exhibits in this country.

Kohout places intuition and rationality on an equal footing. In conventional installations he demonstrates the basic principles that are being lost in today’s over-informed world under layers of superfluity. He takes a mainly minimalist approach and often uses new media. One work in which these features come together is Ombea of 2006. He prepared a room in which the visitor spent eight minutes. The environment corresponded to the visitor’s behaviour: movement = sound and darkness, repose = silence and light. The reactions were transferred into code in gradations of grey and sent to the owner upon demand as a protocol of conduct. Technical support was provided by Mash64 and Viktor Soukal. Another example of the analogy of elementary situations is The Skipping-rope / Švihadlo (2007) made of electricity cable. A cable turns inwards between two sockets at the gallery entrance. It is easy to enter, but more difficult to leave.

Zvednutý prst / Threatening (2008) is a site-specific project undertaken at the Cargo workshop in Sofia. The performance takes place in an open space. Kohout stands behind a brick wall and all that can be seen of him is a raised finger. Without its being clear beforehand, the hand as basic communicative medium makes an appearance in other works. It appears remotely during the presentation ScriptPad (2010). A series of sketchbooks, each containing artwork from the title page, is showcased by means of an instructor wearing gloves. The instructor later appears in Sticks (2011) and in the publication Linear Manual (2012) and the gloves themselves in Skinsmooth (2012). As well as the concept of high and low, ScriptPad relativises the relationship between presentation and the actual value of art. Kohout engaged with a similar question in the object Heroes (2008). He placed seven small loudspeakers in a three-metre speaker bearing the word HEROES embroidered in silver copying the original graphic design of David Bowie’s LP, from which seven different cover versions of the song Heroes can be heard.

Another work based on music is Solo Show (2010). Kohout invited Tomáš Kopáček to compose songs inspired by his work. He then invited Kopáček to Futuregallery in Berlin to create a musical production according to a strict timetable (from 6pm to 10pm with ten-minute breaks every hour) lasting from Friday 25 June to Sunday 27. Tomáš Kopáček and the timetable, made to look like the cleaning plans of public WCs, were the only items in the exhibition. The graphic design of the timetable was by Rasmus Svensson. A similar theme, the revaluation of temporal continuity and authenticity, also appears in Opening Hours / Otevírací době of 2008, which restricts the availability of Kohout’s website. A circular green sign saying OPEN rotates in a rolling rhythm on its vertical axis in the form of an independent tab on his website from Monday to Friday from 7am to 11pm, and from Saturday to Sunday from 8am to 12am. As soon as opening hours are over, the website is unavailable and a red sign saying CLOSED rotates in the same rhythm. An artificial limit is set up that formally restricts the theoretically unlimited possibilities of the internet. The programmer was Martin Baar.

Kohout examined the interaction between the crossing of boundaries and predefined orders and a natural flow in the project The Script Involving a Language Teacher (2010). A foreign language teacher was asked to write down the first word that came into his head upon waking up in the morning. He was to do this every working day without any further explanation as to why. He was then asked to compose sentences during his lessons using the words in the same order he had written them. It was up to the teacher as to whether to explain things to his students and how to incorporate the words into his lessons. The clearest example of the communicative aspect of the hand mentioned above appears in Six Days in the Life of Sandra Lolax (2010). Kohout asked his girlfriend to recount the events of the day using her fingers. This he recorded on video. The last two works that should be mentioned are procedural in character and relate to language. Watching Matin Kohout is a large net-art project in which the procedures and possibilities of language (in this case subtle gestures of mimicry) are intensified minimalistically. From April 2010 to March 2011 he recorded himself by webcam each time he watched a video on YouTube and then published the results on the channel Watching Martin Kohout, which now contains 821 videos. A similar analysis of the work was carried out by Marie Meixnerová.

Much of his work appears collaborative, though this is simply the natural outcome of the needs of form. In 2009 he set up the limited-edition publishing company TLTRPreβ.

Author of the annotation
Denisa Bytelová



2013 Städelschule, Frankfurt, Class of Simon Starling
2010 BcA, Film Academy FAMU, Prague
2008-2010 UdK Berlin, Class of Gregor Schneider

Awards, stipends:
2017 Jindřich Chalupecký Award
2014 finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award
2012 Alfred-Toepfer-Stipendium
2010 Scholarship at KHM Köln and finalist for 14. Marler Video-Kunst-Preis, Marl, Germany
2008 Other Visions award for Moonwalk video at PAF 2008, Olomouc, Czech Republic
2006 Lab.Award for Ombea project at Lab30 festival in Augsburg, Germany


Solo exhibitions
Jokes Machines Make About Humans: 2nd infusion, Kunstraum Riehen, Ch
Lebensrhythmen Und Geschwindigkeit, Goethe Institut China, Beijing, Cn

Jokes Machines Make About Humans: 1st infusion, Polansky Gallery, Prague, Cz
DungeonTT (duo with Lars TCF Holdhus), Tromso Kunstforening, No
DungeonTT (duo with Lars TCF Holdhus), Meet Factory, Prague, Cz

Sjezd, etc. galerie, Prague, Cz
Skip the door, save 4s @ Forum-1822, Frankfurt am Main, De
5006 years of daylight and silent adaptation. @ Exile, Berlin, De

Solo Exhibition (fall/winter)
Wrong Step (solo), Percival Space, Oslo 

Glare Inland, Quiet Attachment 2, Futura, Prague 
Skinsmooth Sur+, Headquarters, Zurich

Glare Inland, Quiet Attachment, Exile, Berlin

Solo Show, The Future Gallery, Berlin
FAQ, PMgalerie, Berlin 
Watching Martin Kohout launched as an online solo show atJstChillin.org

Bezesměrný pohyb (Non-directional Movement), Entrance Gallery, Prague
Musíme víceméně (We Have To More or Less), together with Tomáš Bárta, Galerie Mladých, Brno (Cz)

Jakmile mě okupuješ, pronikám do tebe (As Soon As You Occupy Me, I Penetrate You), A.M. 180, Prague
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Lock Up International, Ks Wave, Nakano Broadway, Tokyo, Jp
States of Flux, Swimming Pool, Sofia, Bg
Survival Guides for Ballroom Dancers, Renovators,... Vleeshal, Middelburg, Nl
Пикник на обочине, Exo Exo, Paris, Fr
F-Holes, HHDM, New York, US
Latent Fiction, Sperling, Munich, De
Apocalypse Me, Galerie Emila Filly, Usti nad Labem, Cz
Grand New, Future Gallery, Berlin, De

Aufloesung / Neuordnung, D21, Leipzig, De
HPSCHD 1969>2015, MAMbo, Bologna, It
Generation Smart, National Technical Library, Prague, Cz
Telepathy or Esperanto, Futura, Prague, Cz
Deep Skin (online, www.deepsk.in)
Typografie, Tsjechisch Centrum, Rotterdam, Nl

Jindrich Chalupecky Award, Veletrzni Palac, National Gallery, Prague, Cz
Redrawing Sol LeWitt, Exile, New York, US
The Meditative Relaxation Cycle, Arcadia Missa, London, UK
ABBA: Art Books by Artists, Vondelbunker, Amsterdam, Nl

Atlas 2013 (group)
Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn

Brand Innovations for Ubiquitous Authorship (group)
A group exhibition stolen by Eva and Franco Mattes at Carroll / Fletcher, London

Superpositions, New Wight Biennial 2012, New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles
Brand Innovations for Ubiquitous Authorship, Higher Pictures, New York
Stream of Consciousness, Galleri Krets, Malmö, Sweden 
6th Zlín Youth Salon 2012, Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín, Czech Republic 
Skinsmooth Sur+ (solo), Headquaters, Zurich
In the shadow of the sun, Bel Etage, Berlin 
Post studio tales, District Berlin
dotcom, BSNP at Centre d'Art Bastille, Grenoble
Gravity, Money, Concrete, Fabric, Galerie Suvi Lehtinen
Nobody Knows You're a Dog, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Kalmar, Sweden
Astral Projection Abduction Fantasy, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin

Material Conversion, Grimmuseum, Berlin
Looking for Mr. McLuhan,Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York 
Virgins Lives (with Michal Pechoucek), Jiri Svestka Gallery, Berlin 
Rat Piss Virus give it to me, Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City
Life on the Screen, Joyce Yahouda Gallery, Montréal 
READ/WRITE, 319 Scholes, New York
Als der Nachbar zum telefonieren kam, Galerie Petra Vankova, Berlin
Post Internet Survival Guide,Gentili Apri, Berlin

Solo Show, The Future Gallery, Berlin, Germany
FAQ, PMgalerie, Berlin, Germany
Watching Martin Kohout; launched as an online solo show at JstChillin.org
Liminal Work, Galerie Suvi Lehtinen, Berlin, Germany
Play Biennial, Guggenheim Museum, New York, United States of America
Transgression, Videotage, Hong Kong 
Bosch Young Talent Show, Den Bosch, Netherlands 
Whole Earth Catalogue, Neoncampobase, Bologna
SummerCamp, Exile, Berlin

Musíme víceméně (We Have To More or Less), together with Tomáš Bárta, curated by Jan Zálešák, Galerie Mladých, Brno, Czech Republic
Herring under a fur coat, Program, Berlin (group)
Projectables, 7a Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (group)
mybiennialisbetterthanyours.com, curated by Tolga Taluy; Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (group)
Objekt animace. Třetí smysl (Object Animation. Third Sense), curated by F. Cenek, J. Havlíček, M. Mazanec, V. Mílek; Krajská galerie výtvarného umění ve Zlíně, Zlín Czech Republic (group)
GEIST #II, Berlin, Germany (group)
Screengrab, James Cook University, Townsville, Austria (group)

Jakmile mě okupuješ, pronikám do tebe (As Soon As You Occupy Me, I Penetrate You), A.M. 180, Prague, Czech Republic
Pixxelpoint 2008, curated by Domenico Quaranta, Nova Gorcica, Slowenia (group)
INTRO 518 TEDˇ 69 TEDˇ* TEDˇ 180 BONUS Q TRACK!, curated by D. Böhm, J. Franta, M. Meduna; Karlin Studios, Prague, Czech Republic (group)
Therapy, curated by Pavel Sedlák; CIANT Gallery, Prague Czech Republic (group)

We Make Boxes 280407, Benzínka, Slaný, Czech Republic 
Enter3: Web 2.0 Generation, curated by Denisa Kera, Prague, Czech Republic (group)






Wandering Magazine #2



User-Friendly, Essay by Jakob Schillinger featuring Watching Martin Kohout. Artforum, November issue 

Martin Kohout, Essay by Marie Meixnerova, Fotograf magazine

What a summertime causes, Denisa Bytelová, PIŽMO 11

Die U-30-Party, Der Tagesspiegel, 11.8. 2012

Martin Kohout, Arts & Antique magazine (Cz)



The Prosumer Version, essay by Jakob Shillinger, FlashArt international, October issue



Vernacular Video, essay by Domenico Quaranta for Flash Art Italy n. 285

Watching Martin Kohout, essay by Gene McHugh

Poučeni uměním spolupracují, an article by Lenka Lindaurova for Lidove Noviny

7a bienal do mercosul, exhibition catalog

14. Marler Video-Kunst-Preis, exhibition catalog

Berlin Athina, exhibition catalogue



Objekt animace. Třetí smysl (Object Animation. Third Sense), exhibition catalogue, ed. Cenek, Filip and Martin Mazanec



A2 #40 (01/10/2008), Kazalky in an article „Nové umění z kráteru“ by Pavel Sedlák

Lidové Noviny (09/08/2008), column Galerie curated by Katherine Kastner

Nový Prostor #306, p. 21, text by Jiří Ptáček



Umelec Inernational, text by Jiří Ptáček

IdN Magazine #5

Sticker City book (Thames & Hudson)

Hype magazine #23



Lidové Noviny, Za barevnější svět (Jan Kovalík)

Wooster Comix #1



Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2018
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