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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Pavel Kopřiva

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installation art
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About artist

Pavel Kopřiva creates multi-medial objects and installations, while also working with photography and video art. His work is characterised by a conceptual approach. Kopřiva’s interest lies in various technologies and designs whose methods he shifts into a fine-art context. His objects and installations are derived from experience with a post-industrial and post-totalitarian society. He comments on social phenomena and events that he works into his work with an ironic distance. He is a master of fiction and mystification. The social aspects of Kopřiva’s work were already apparent in his first oeuvre – a land art work from 1992 which he himself claims to be influenced by artists such as Richard Long and Miloš Šejn. But in the background of this interest in nature stands Kopřiva’s experiences arising from his life in the North Bohemian coal areas - a region highly impacted by industrial exploitation. The erosiveness of the land is a source of a feeling of insecurity that permeates the artist's work. This feeling is already evident in the following work – in relativising installations of sorts: Electrical Fiction (1993), Gardening-Cultivating Fiction (1993), Logic as Fiction (1994). The very title of the word “fiction” indicates that it is a mystification of the viewer: “I examine systems and then disrupt and alter them and then serve them back to the viewer, who then examines from his normal perspectives, though something in them doesn't seem right to him. That's an interesting point for me, to share with him that not everything is brilliant. There can be lots of errors, especially when things are created sophisticatedly," says Kopřiva.


In his work Electrical Fiction Kopřiva demonstrated the installation of handmade electrical circuits that were plugged into false outlets. However, the viewer did not know this and the installation caused a threatening feeling. Only the enlightened viewer could know that the electrical circuits “had faults" and could not work. In his UFO project (1995) he again played with this type of mystification: He created a glass object that evoked the image of a flying saucer. Using a mobile crane he photographed this object (characterised by a NASA-like visual representation) and sent the picture to a newspaper. Kopřiva thus created an ironic take on ufology as a pseudo-scientific system.


He returned to extra-terrestrial civilisations later, in 2000 for instance, when he created the object Born 1947, which is a strangely mysterious object, paraphrasing the "extra-terrestrial" object found in a Nevada desert in 1947. A feeling of anxiety and mystification also permeates another project by Kopřiva, May Day (2001). Digital photography places us here in the position of a viewer – a visitor to a technically equipped room in which a kind of secret, mysterious research is taking place. Many of Kopřiva's project work with several media at once. His inter-media works include the Chameleon Skin installation (2004). He screened on a gallery wall made up of mirror fragments a transmitted on-line film recording of activity on the street right beyond the gallery wall, directly connecting the gallery and street space.


Other projects bring the viewer right into play. In the performance project Everybody Needs the Podium (2006), Kopřiva installed in the gallery an exact copy of a briefing room from the Pentagon (which we are familiar with from TV). The gallery’s visitors were invited to go up on the podium and be photographed in a situation that we're familiar with from the media. An interest in modern technology, science and research, whose findings he either directly applies to modern art or paraphrases them, is also characteristic of Kopřiva. A recent work utilising the most recent discoveries is High Voltage Image (2009). He worked on this with the nanofiber laboratories of the Technical University in Liberec. This is a cycle that makes use of a new scientific method for art: “It is a project in which the phenomenon of composing a nano-fiber structure depending on the conductivity of the substrate material and on the high voltage value”, said Kopřiva. The result is subtle abstract “pictures”, in which Kopřiva works with microscopic shots that he modifies and that aestheticise the most recent research attempts.


Fiction, mystification, dysfunction, sarcastic humour, ironic de-masking of social systems… these are words that can be used to characterise the work of Pavel Kopřiva. He likes commenting on and paraphrasing “mysteries”. He enjoys new technologies and questions of aesthetics and beauty. Many objects appear perfect, even "beautiful”. Is it a design or an object with a specific purpose? Hard to say. And that’s the very challenge that Pavel Kopřiva presents to the viewer.

Author of the annotation
Ivona Raimanová


2000-2004 Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Prague, (Ph.D. Degree)
1989-1995 Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Prague (prof.Harcuba.prof.Matasová) M.A. Degree
1987-1989 Art Department, Faculty of Education, Ústí nad Labem
1982-1986 Secondary Jewellery Art School, Jablonec nad Nisou

Work / Employment:
since 2007 head of the Digital Media Studio, Faculty of Art and Design,
UJEP University, Ústí nad Labem
2004-2007 assistant professor, Visual Communication Studio, Technical University, Liberec
1997-2003 assistant professor, Conceptual and Intermedial Work studio, Academy of Architecture, Art and Design, Prague

2006 Ohio Art Council, GallerySpaces, Cleveland,Ohio,USA
1998 Vila Waldberta, Kulturreferat , Mnichov, D
1997 Bildwerk Frauenau, D
1992 Pilchuck Glass school, Seattle, USA

2009 10. IGS Novy Bor,CZ
2003 8. IGS Novy Bor,CZ
2000 7. IGS Novy Bor,CZ (International Glass Symposium)
1995 Symposium of Flat Glass,Teplice,CZ

Pedagogical knowledge:
2010 The Studio, Corning Museum of Glass
Od 2007 Fakulta umění a designu ,UJEP Ústí nad Labem, Vedoucí ateliéru Interaktivní média ,
2004-2007 TU Liberec,odborný asistent Ateliéru Vizuální komunikace
1999, 2011 Bildwerk Frauenau, D
1997-2003 VŠUP Praha,odborný asistent Ateliéru konceptuální a intermediální tvorby

2001 - finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award


Galerie U bílého jednorožce Klatovy CZ
Sklářské muzeum, Nový Bor, CZ
Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum Praha, CZ
Tacoma art museum, Tacoma, USA
GASK , Kutná hora, CZ
Sbírka Cesty skla, Sázava, CZ


Solo exhibitions
CacheArt, Galerie NF,Ústí nad Labem
Cube x Cube Galerie, Kryštofovo údolí ( s Karolínou Kopřivovou)

Everybody needs the podium II., Galerie Die Actualitet des Schonen, Liberec

Everybody needs the podium II., Galerie Rampa, Ústí nad Labem

Lesní směs ( s Karolínou Kopřivovou) Sklářské muzeum, Nový Bor, CZ
HEAVY DUTY, Galerie Via art, Praha, CZ
Nanoface, FCHT Univerzita Pardubice, CZ
Glas-Kunst-Orte, Neues Rathaus, Weiden, D,

Vše je tak pomalé, Galerie moderního umění, Roudnice nad Labem, CZ

Kosmetika, Galerie Špejchar, Chomutov, CZ

EVERYBODY NEEDS A PODIUM, Gallery Spaces, Cleveland, Ohio,USA

Malé zbraně, Galerie Jelení, Praha, CZ
Spygame, Galerie Sokolská 26, Ostrava, CZ
Spygame, Galerie Raketa, Ústí nad Labem, CZ

Kůže chameleona, Galerie VŠUP, Praha, CZ

POHYBLIVÉ INSTALACE“ performance společně s divadlem Buchty a loutky, studio Švandova divadla Praha, CZ

MAY DAY, Galerie U kostela, Bílina, CZ

MAY DAY, České muzeum výtvarných umění, Praha, CZ

Mělký povrch, Galerie Die Aktualitet des schonen, Liberec, CZ
AREA 51, Galerie V.Špály, Praha, CZ
AREA 51, Galerie ICA-D, Dunauvarosz, H

Mělký povrch, Galerie mladých u dobrého pastýře, Brno, CZ

Vybledlí, Galerie U bílého jednorožce ,Klatovy /s J.Černickým/ ,CZ
Anatomie Mechanismu, Pro Art Mercedes,Praha /s M+M, Mnichov/ CZ, D

Plány nadskutečna, Galerie E.Filly,Ústí nad Labem, CZ

Anatomie, Galerie Suterén ,Ústí nad Labem , CZ

Malá výstavní síň, Liberec CZ

Otevřená hranice bytu,Ústí nad Labem, CZ
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Ze středu ven – Umění regionů 1985- 2010, Západočeská galerie Plzeň,CZ
Zóna v pohybu, DOX Praha, CZ

Social design, Galerie E.Filly, Ústí nad Labem
Per Video, Galerie NTK,Praha,CZ
ENTER 6, Galerie NTK,Praha,CZ

Pražský festival skla, Francouzský institut,Praha
Generátor, Galerie E.Filly, Ústí nad Labem
NANOSKOP, Nová scéna ND, Praha

ENTER 5, Galerie NTK,Praha,CZ

POLICE THE POLICE, 4. bienále současného umění,Bukurešť, RO
Rozhraní, Galerie Nod, Praha, CZ
Tvoření světů - Making Worlds, Galerie E. Filly. Ústí nad Labem, CZ
Formate der transormation 89-09, Museum auf Abruf, Vienna, AT

Formáty transformace 89-09, Dům pánů z Kunštátu, Brno,CZ
New Old Cold War, 3.moskevské bienále současného umění, Krasnyj Oktjabr, Moskva, RU
Nanoskop, Galerie Dox, Praha, CZ
Rebus Sic Stantibus, Galerie E.Filly,Ústí nad Labem, CZ
Adapt, festival Enter4, Galerie Dox, Praha, CZ
Křehká krása stříbřeného skla, Novoměstská radnice,Praha, CZ

Letiště Praha Ruzyně, CZ
Rebus Sic Stantibus, Aboa Vetus,Turku, Fi
Big gruppen Painting“ Hala 23, Praha,CZ

Hot destination,marginal destiny, Motorenhalle, Dresden, D
Transgenesis, AV ČR,Praha
Unsafe distance, ciant, dům U zvonu,Praha
Prostor pro intuici, GHMP Praha CZ
Made in Bor, Sklářské muzeum, Nový Bor, CZ
Křehká krása stříbřeného skla, Muzeum Šumavy, Sušice ,CZ
Zerbrechlische Schonheit des Silberglases, Wallfahrtmuseum, Neukirchen, D

Širší proud, Galerie města Plzně, Plzeň
IV. Nový zlínský salon, Dům umění Zlín, CZ
Insiders, Galerie Futura, Praha, CZ

Observatory, Kunst im Palais, Drážďany D
Hot Destination, Dům umění města Brna, CZ
Insiders, Dům pánů z Kunštátu, Brno

O technice, České muzeum výtvarných umění, Praha

Object, Moravská Galerie, Brno, CZ
ZVON, Bienale of young czech artists, GHMP Praha, CZ
V. Nový zlínský salon, Státní galerie Zlín CZ

Object, ČMVU, Praha, CZ
East of Eden, Czech centre, Munchen, D
Finále ceny Chalupeckého, Národní galerie, Veletržní palác Praha, CZ

Trans Globe, Galerie Mánes, Praha, CZ
Alles in Bewegung, Galerie Barakk, Berlin, D
The End of World, NG Kinský Palác Prague, CZ
on a free theme…but to the point, Galerie V.Špály, Praha, CZ
VIA 2000, Galerie VIART, Praha, CZ public art project
Actual, GHMP Praha, CZ
90th continue, Galerie E. Filly, Ústí nad Labem
East of Eden, Centum kultury Castlle Poznaň, PL
East of Eden, Galerie Wyspa,Gdaňsk , PL
Story, Galerie NoD, Praha
100 + 1, ČMVU, Praha, CZ

Ten chapters of nature, Kunstmuseum,Karlruhe, D
Ten chapters of nature, Art gallery, Rhethimnon, Kreta
Symposium železné plastiky, NG Veletržní palác,Praha
Obyčejné pohádky" gaerie U bílého jednorožce, Klatovy
2. Zlínský salon, Státní galerie Zlín
PUBLIC DISTRICT, Galerie E.Filly Ústí nad Labem
99 CZ, Václavské náměstí, Praha

Tělo a fotografie, Praha - Kolín
Asi,Asi,Asistenti, Výstavní síň VŠUP, Praha
O přírodě, Středočeská galerie, Praha
Black and blue, Galerie Club Otok,Dubrovnik, HR
Ten chapters of nature, Crac Alsace, Altkirch, F

Okresní formát, Galerie E.Filly Ústí nad Labem
Jitro kouzelníků, NG,Veletržní palác, Praha
1.zlínský salon mladých, Státní galerie Zlín
Sever, Galerie V.Špály , Praha
Umění ve veřejném prostoru, NG, Veletržní palác, Praha

Proměna, Galerie Bosny a Hercegoviny, Sarajevo BiH
Interiér vs.Exteriér, areál Cosmos,Bratislava SK
Hi-tech a umění, Dům umění města Brna
Privat anamnesis, Kostel sv.Vojtěcha Ústí nad Labem
MANIFESTA 1,V2 instution, Rotterdam NL

Zkušební provoz, Galerie Mánes, Praha
Orbis Fictus, Valdštejnská jízdárna, Praha

Projekt Istropolitana, Bratislava, SK
Nová jména, Galerie V.Špály, Praha

Krajina v současném umění, Dům U kamenného zvonu, Praha
Narušená rovnováha, Galerie E.Filly
Narušená rovnováha, Galerie Citadela, Praha
Mladí umělci z Prahy, Kunstmuseum , Dusseldorf, D

Bienále uměleckých škol, Barcelona,SP
Galerie U bílého jednorožce Klatovy CZ
Sklářské Muzeum, Nový Bor, CZ
Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum Praha, CZ



Pavel Kopřiva, Hand Book. Texty: Michal koleček, Jaroslav Polanecký. Univerzita Jana Evangelisty Purkyně v Usti nad Labem, 2011.




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