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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Václav Magid

First Name
Birth place
Leningrad, USSR
Place of work
↳ Find in the VVP AVU database
installation art
CSU Library
↳ Find in the catalogue

About artist

Václav Magid is an artist with a strong theoretical background and a curator that conceives exhibitions more as art projects than as ambiguous presentations of art. His work, originally derived fully from traditional painting techniques, soon took on a conceptual character.


One of the most important themes for him during 2005-2007 was the examination of the border between life and the artwork, i.e. the aesthetic experience’s relation to human existence. From April 1, 2005 to April 1, 2006 he systematically recorded everything he did so that this unique form of a diary could then be used for the exhibition entitled April. The status of unplanned situations was transformed through their reclassification into the records of an art action. Magid’s performance at an exhibition at the Etc. Gallery in Prague took a similar stance. This consisted of a bibliography in which he wrote on a wall quotes from all the books that he managed to recall within a designated timeframe. These quotes were written using standards for a professional publication. Magid also followed the blurred transition between life and art in the exhibitions he curated: Eternal States at Karlin studios (2006) and Purpose at the gallery of the Fine Arts Academy (2006).


In the next two exhibitions he curates, Magid emphasised his critical approach to the gallery business and to cultural art policies. The criticism of certain social groups or cultural phenomena often appears in his work as a means of expression, yet the message's content is derived from personal experiences reformulated into an artistic expression. At the exhibition A Place for a Project at the gallery of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (2007) he reduced the exhibition’s preparation to work-productions relations by fully monitoring the grant and project policies. The exhibition was thus a statement about itself. The empty panels described by the texts in this exhibition became the antithesis of a similar approach to the concept of the exhibition Contemporary Czech Cubism at City Gallery Prague (2007). Here Magid invited a broad spectrum of young and middle generation artists to provide for the exhibition a work with geometricising tendencies that could be included in the fictional, curator created, trend of contemporary cubism. Even his work created for the Prague Biennale 2007 was of a dichotomous nature – to be integrated in the system, or try to redefine its structure from within, or to stand fully outside. The two pictures Shadow of a Doubt responded with arguments for and against exhibiting at the Prague Biennale.


In 2008-2010 Magid’s work increasingly confronted with literary and theoretical references of European culture, whose discourse, however, increasingly targeted the milieu of visual culture inside a gallery. Text is for Magid a material medium just like everything else, but the work becomes completed only with the viewer's physical existence in the space and with the parallel penetration to the text’s content. In his exhibition My Father’s Blind Eye at Jelení Gallery the theme is derived from a photograph of a Chinese execution. Magid presented here different cultural ways to neutralize the unbearable horror of mortal existence that this image shows. The chaos of reality overlaid with a complex network of coordinates of various sign systems materialized in objects that represented different way of making cruelty invisible, of "turning a blind eye” to it. The transfer of text from literature to an artwork can perhaps best be seen, for instance, in his work Poshlostye (Ambitious Young Curator, 2007), Social Parasite (2009), Situation (2009) or Re-convalescence (2009). In the work Re-convalescence he attempted to connect small mini-episodes from his own life with a map of the area where these events took places and thus establish a specific form of reading them. Magid had a similar approach in the Situation cycle: he perceived events in a time and space, but then put them into a form that inseparably linked the textual and illustrative component.


In Magid’s most recent exhibition We’ll Be Prepared for Anything (2010) at the Potraviny Gallery in Brno, his work returns to relying more on its visuality through signs of a certain way of artistry and their context in present-day society. With a background reference to Josef Lada's Betlém the artist addressed the problem of provincial multiculturalism. Magid’s deliberate search for causes and relations leads to new forms of art, and this inclination is undoubtedly inspiring.

Author of the annotation
Markéta Kubačáková




School of History, Art History and Philosophy, University of Sussex, Brighton

2013 –
Department of Aesthetics, Faculty of Philosophy & Arts, Charles University, Prague

Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Philosophy & Arts, Charles University, Prague

Institute of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague

Studio of Sculpture, Studio of Conceptual Tendencies, Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Prague

Studio of Classical Painting, Studio of Visual Communication, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague


MuseumsQuartier, Vienna

A-I-R Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw
Duende Studios, Rotterdam

International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York
SPACE Residency Lab, Bratislava


since 2012       
Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, Brno, lecturer

since 2007      
editor-in-chief of the magazine The Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones

since 2006       
Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, researcher

2010,2013 - finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award
Member of art groups included in ARTLIST.
Member of art groups not included in ARTLIST.
2004–2006 Rafani (Art group Rafani)


Solo exhibitions
Selected solo shows:

Autonomy, PLATO, Ostrava

Epimenedes’ Lectures, Photograph Gallery, Prague

Solidaire/solitaire, Gallery of Young Artists, Brno

From the Aesthetic Education Secret Files, Kostka Gallery, Prague
28 Days and a Few Evenings, Entrance Gallery, Prague
Coordinates, Moravian Gallery, Brno

Possibilities of a Student Life, Tranzitdisplay, Prague
Father’s Blind Eye, Jelení Gallery, Prague

April Fools’ Day, AM 180 Gallery, Prague
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Selected group shows:

La vérité des apparences. Histoires de codes et de reflets, La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand

About the Chair. 9th International Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts: Pixels of Paradise, Liège
Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis 2014, Kunstmuseum Bonn

12th Biennale de Lyon: Meanwhile… Suddenly, and Then, Le Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon
Jindřich Chalupecký Award: 2013 Final, National Gallery, Prague
Reminiscences of the Future II, House of the Lords from Kunštát, Brno

Islands of Resistance: Between the First and Second Modernity 1985–2012, National Gallery, Prague

Distrust of Intelligentsia, OPEN Gallery, Bratislava

Case of Reoccurrence of Children Illnesses, Karlin Studios, Prague
Jindřich Chalupecký Award: 2010 Final, Centre of Contemporary Art DOX, Prague
And Don’t Forget the Flowers, Moravian Gallery, Brno

Glocal Outsiders. Praguebiennale 3, Karlin Hall, Prague
Invisible Things, Trafó Gallery, Budapest

I Invited Some Friends to Have a Look, Nova Gallery, Zagreb
Shadows of Humour, Centre of Contemporary Art M’ars, Moscow
Other realisations

Presentations and screenings

A Punchline of the Repeated Joke, INI Gallery, Prague


Directions: European Video Art Screenings and Artist Talks, Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam

Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, New Museum, New York



Curatorial Projects

Gaspard of the Night

Contemporary Czech Cubism

A Place for a Project: An Attempt at a Political Exhibition


States of Things



Editor of the publications


Pospiszyl, Tomáš. An Associative History of Art [Asociativní dějepis umění]. Prague: tranzit.cz.


Zálešák, Jan. The Art of Collaboration [Umění spolupráce]. Prague: AVU.


Groys, Boris. The Total Art of Stalinism. The Communist Postscript [Gesamkunstwerk Stalin. Komunistické postskriptum]. Prague: AVU.


Žižek, Slavoj. Horseshoe Over the Door, Anthology of Texts [Podkova nade dveřmi. Výbor z textů]. Prague: AVU.



„Viktor Pivovarov ustavičně unikající.“ Flash Art, roč. 4, 2009, č. 14, s. 54–55.

„Od estetizace politiky k politizaci umění a zpět.“ In: Kolektiv autorů, Kritika depolitizovaného rozumu. Všeň: Grimmus 2010 s. 77–96.



„Narušitelé hranic v bezcelní zóně aneb Vítejte v devadesátých.“ Ateliér, roč. 22, 2009. č. 24, s. 1–2.

„Alice Nikitinová.“art+antiques, roč. 8, 2009, č. 3., s. 26–27.

„Ano. A znova. Jan Šerých na Staroměstské radnici.“ art+antiques, roč. 8, 2009, č. 11, s. 71–72.

„Úvod.“ In: Hlava. (Kat. výst.) Praha: Karlín studios 2009, s. 5–6.

„Marek Meduna. ‚Mám pocit, že jsem beztvará hmota.‘“ Labyrint revue, roč. 19, 2009, č. 25–26, s. 105–109.

„Směrem k ideální prezentaci v galerijním prostoru. Rozhovor s Jiřím Skálou.“ Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny, roč. 3, 2009, č. 6–7, s. 154–159.

„Nemám jasné představy, a proto jsem umělcem. Rozhovor se Zbyňkem Baladránem.“ Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny, roč. 3, 2009, č. 6–7, s. 160–167.

„Mám ambici dostat se k porozumění. Rozhovor s Jánem Mančuškou.“ Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny, roč. 3, 2009, č. 6–7, s. 168–175.



„Májové jitro a boj proti nepříteli, proti němuž je vítězství podlehnutím.“ In: Karel CÍSAŘ, Jan ŠERÝCH (eds.), Jan Šerých se narodil 24. 6. 2083 minus jedna. Praha: Tranzit 2008, s. 98–113.

„Konstruovaná situace a její okamžik v čase.“ Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny, č. 4–5, 2008, s. 33–60.

„Zrušení nebo uskutečnění?“ Literární noviny, roč. 19, 2008, s. 1, 8.



„Fenomén ‚tusovky‘ v ruském umění devadesátých let a současná česká umělecká komunita – pokus o srovnání.“ Umělec, roč. 11, 2007, č. 1, s. 27–30.

„ Interview s Victorem Mizianem.“ (Spol. s Alenou Boikou) Umělec, roč. 11, 2007, č. 1, s. 10–19.

„Text od Václava Magida.“ In: CAP – Crew Against People. Bigg Boss: Praha 2007, s. 2–24.

„Umění jako cvičení jako hra.“ text o Evě Koťátkové pro katalog finalistů Ceny Jindřicha Chalupeckého

Myslet smysly, cítit myslí. 52. Benátské bienále současného umění, recenze, A2, č. 28

„Prázdno v komiksové bublině. Retrospektiva Nea Raucha v Rudolfinu.“ A2, roč. 3, 2007, č. 25, s. 31.

„Hrubý národní produkt. Výstava jako slabikář ‚subkulturního metajazyka‘ českého současného umění.“ A2, roč. 3, 2007, č. 22, s. 11.

„Malba, kachličky a víra v utopii.“ A2, roč. 3, 2007, č. 12, s. 9.

„Totální instalace jako fragment obrazu světa.“ Ateliér, roč. 20, 2007, č. 12, s. 7.

„Neberte si to osobně.“ A2, roč. 3, 2007, č. 7, s. 9.

„‚Politické umění‘ mimo kontext.“ Ateliér, roč. 20, 2007, č. 1, s. 2.

„Turistou ve světě současného umění: Pár postřehů z okna rozjetého vlaku.“ Labyrint revue, 2007, č. 21–22, s. 132–133.



„Jiný druh intervence.“ A2, č. 22, Praha, květen 2006.

„Mladí rakouští umělci a studenti Ateliéru textuálního sochařství Heimo Zoberniga.“ Ateliér, roč. 19, 2006, č. 11 (25. 5. 2006), s. 16.

„Druhé dějství.“ A2, roč. II, č. 30, 26. 7. 2006, s. 8.

„Pode Bal: nedělní aktivisté v Letech.“ A2, roč. II, č. 40, 4. 10. 2006, s. 9.

„Krize nenápadné tendence.“ Umělec, roč. 10, 2006, č. 3, s. 58-66.

„Pozval jsem přátele, aby se podívali; dívali se však na něco jiného, než jsem jim chtěl ukázat.“ Ateliér, roč. 19, 2006, č. 21 (26. 10. 2006), s. 6.

„Návody k přežití pro občany. Podzimní sezóna v moskevském galerijním provozu.“ A2, roč. II, č. 51-52, 20. 12. 2006, s. 10-11.

„Dominik Lang – sochař, zedník a konceptuální umělec.“ Cena Jindřicha Chalupeckého, Finále 2006, Společnost Jindřicha Chalupeckého, Agite / Fra, 2006, s. 34-35.

Personal texts not included in database

“The Prague Contemporary Art Scene in the Early Twenty-first Century [Pražská scéna současného umění na začátku 21. století].” Artalk, 27. 2. 2015.

“Echoes of the Wrong Laughter: Post-Internet Art and the Culture Industry [Ozvěny špatného smíchu. Postinternetové umění a kulturní průmysl].” Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones [Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny] 17: 66–96.

[A Review of] Owen Hulatt, ed. Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy. London: Bloomsbury, 2013, viii + 243 pp. ISBN 978-1-4411-9652-1.” Estetika 2: 290–296.

“The Prague Contemporary Art Scene in the Early Twenty-first Century.” In Europe, Europe (exh. cat.). Oslo: Astrup Fearnley Museet.


“The Contradictions of Activist Art [Rozpory aktivistického umění].” Artalk, 15. 8. 2013.


“Conceptualism and Early Romanticism. Attempts at Joining Opposites [Konceptualismus a raná romantika. Pokusy o spojení protikladů].” In History of Art in Expanded Field [Dějiny umění v rozšířeném poli], edited by Hana Buddeus, Mariana Dufková, Václav Janoščík and Johana Lomová, 80–88. Prague: VŠUP.


“The Future is Our Only Aim [Budoucnost je naším jediným cílem].” In Budoucnost je naším jediným cílem / The Future is Our Only Aim. Vasil Artamonov, Alexey Klyuykov (exh. cat.), edited by P.O.L.E., 12–42; 184–210. Prague: SVIT.

“[A Review of] Denis Ciporanov – Tomáš Kulka (eds.), Co je umění? Texty angloamerické estetiky 20. století.” Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones [Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny] 10: 104–115.


“Theoretical Gesamtkunstwerk of Boris Groys [Teoretické Gesamtkunstwerk Borise Groyse].” Introduction to The Total Art of Stalinism. The Communist Postscript [Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin. Komunistické postskriptum] by Boris Groys, 7–22. Prague: VVP AVU.

“From the Aestheticization of Politics to the Politicization of Art and Back [Od estetizace politiky k politizaci umění a zpět].” In Václav Bělohradský et al., Critique of the Unpoliticized Reason. Essays (Not Only) About the New Normalization [Kritika depolitizovaného rozumu. Úvahy (nejen) o nové normalizaci], 77–96. Všeň: Grimmus.


“Constructed Situation and Its Moment in Time [Konstruovaná situace a její okamžik v čase].” Notebook for Art, Theory and Related Zones [Sešit pro umění, teorii a příbuzné zóny] 4–5: 33–60.

A May morning and the struggle with an enemy, against which victory is defeat [Májové jitro a boj proti nepříteli, proti němuž je vítězství podlehnutím].” In Jan Šerých se narodil 24. 6. 2083 minus jedna, edited by Karel Císař and Jan Šerých, 98–113. Prague: Tranzit pp.


“Text by Vaclav Magid [Text od Václava Magida].” In CAP – Crew Against People, 2–24. Prague: Bigg Boss.

An Attempt to Compare the Phenomena of ‘Tusovka’ in the Russian Art of the Nineties with the Contemporary Czech Art Community [Fenomén ‚tusovky‘ v ruském umění devadesátých let a současná česká umělecká komunita – pokus o srovnání].” Umělec 1: 27–30.


The Crisis of the Discrete Tendency [Krize nenápadné tendence].” Umělec 3: 58–66.



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