Café Chalupecký: Aneta Rostkowska & Jakub Woynarowski
The Strange and Terrible Saga of Jindřich Chalupecký Award
During the guided tour, Aneta Rostkowska and Jakub Woynarowski presented a hypothetic exhibition realized at the National Gallery in Prague referring to the forgotten history of Jindřich Chalupecký Award. Through narratives, storytelling and (anti-)documentation, they playfully appropriated selected elements of the gallery space as well as the artworks exhibited there. An imaginary juxtaposition of artworks challenged the symbolic inaccessibility of place. The performance was based on the idea of “gonzo curating” – a creative practice conceived as a process of appropriation of objects by means of constructing a semi-fictional narrative around them. Gonzo curating is an independent, rebellious and performative curatorial practice, an inventive form of challenging art institutions and established exhibition formats. Inspired by Hunter Thompson’s highly subjective but politically relevant and playful gonzo journalism, gonzo curating is an attempt to reconceive curatorial practice in the times of economic and political crisis.
Aneta Rostkowska is a curator, writer and amateur botanist with a background in philosophy, economics and art history. As a curator she is pursuing experimental practices in-between literature and visual arts that take form of performative lectures and guided tours involving virtual institutions of art, fictional artists and non-existent exhibitions (“gonzo curating“). As a writer she creates unconventional texts in-between fiction and art criticism inspired by the concept of anti-documentation. As a botanist, she is working on an artistic book about relations between humans and houseplants. In 2015, together with Virginija Januškevičiūtė, she curated “A Million Lines,” an exhibition based on a short story of China Miéville, a part of XII Baltic Triennial, accompanied by a Polish translation of Kristupas Sabolius’ book “Proteus and the Radical Imaginary.” She currently works at the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, Germany.
Jakub Woynarowski is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, where he currently teaches at the Narrative Drawing Studio and conducts a seminar on visual culture. He combines the activity of an artist, designer and independent curator. As an author of graphic novels and art books, including “Dead Season” and “Corpus Delicti” he investigates the feasibility of applying various forms of visual narration as instruments of theoretical reflection. Interested in the “archaeology of the avant-garde,” he is pointing out similarities between ancient artworks and modern art. He takes up themes associated with post secularism, post-humanism, institutional criticism and gonzo curating. In 2014 he collaborated with the Institute of Architecture as author of the artistic concept of the Polish Pavilion at the 14th Biennale of Architecture in Venice. He lives and works in Cracow, Poland.