The Nervous System / Jiří Kovanda and Zbyněk Baladrán 

Jiří Kovanda
I’ll start with the present situation – Jiří Kovanda does not presently follow his own international career; he’s an important teacher responsible for the development of a substantial part of the Czech art scene. More than half of his time is devoted to students  at the Fine Arts Academy in Prague and the Faculty of Art and Design, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. He also takes part in nearly every exhibition opening in Prague and takes many trips abroad to attend his own openings. On Saturday he likes to walk to the river and watch the birds and ducks. He watches slow, non-adrenaline sports on TV, documentary shows (mainly of the natural sciences) and for the most part stays away from feature films.  Requests for consultation by other students and artists are not refused, nor are interviews for the media, parties, trips, concerts and dinners. He does not go to the theatre and only rarely to the cinema.  

Jiří Kovanda ranks among the most renowned contemporary Czech artists. His work is represented in prestigious international art exhibitions, recently for example at the Tate Modern in London (the performance Kissing through Glass) or at Documenta 12 in Kassel. He gained international recognition namely through his performances and interventions from the 1970’s and 1980’s which became crucial to the essential exhibitions mapping and incorporating art of the former Eastern Block back into European and international contexts, namely East Art Map, Body and the East, Parallel Actions. Kovanda’s early performances and installations were initially perceived internationally as political art (as everything was which deviated from the so-called ‘normal’ during the normalization period in Czechoslovakia). More recently this view has altered and moved closer to the individual area of social experience and a minimalist gesture. (Edith Jeřábková)

Zbyněk Baladrán 
Zbyněk Baladrán (born 1973 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is an author, visual artist and curator. He studied art history at the Charles University Philosophical Faculty in Prague from 1992-1996, and from 1997-2003 at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of visual communication. He is one of the co-founders and a curator of Galerie display, which was established in Prague in 2001, and in 2007 merged with into tranzitdisplay, where he continues to oversee the exhibition program. He is also the co-curator, with Vít Havranek, of the project and exhibitions Monument to Transformation, a 3-year research project on social transformation that was presented in 2009 at the Prague City Gallery, and which traveled to several other locations in Europe later this year. Baladrán was also a part of the team of curators ( for Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain in 2010. His artworks can be characterized as the search for links between the past and itsconstruction in relation to the prevailing epistemological patterns. His works arerepresented in various international private and public collections. (

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