"Jiří Žák was selected for his specific approach to the medium of the moving image and his in-depth reflection of contemporary and historical topics, with emphasis on their embedding within a broader social and geopolitical context. The jury appreciates the way in which Žák elaborates his own methodology of artistic research and successfully switches between the analytical and the poetic, text and performativity in his work." (jury statement)
Jiří Žák (*1989, Zlín) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Studio of Intermedia Work III/Tomáš Vaněk School). He went to study stays at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, the Studio of the Visiting Artist at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, and the University of Art and Design in Karlsruhe. He works primarily in the media of the moving image and video installation, merging research, lyricism and the narrative form. He addresses the identity of post-communist countries and its deconstruction through non-western perspectives. He has researched the issue of Czech arms export to the Near East on a long-term basis, his other theme of interest being the sociopolitical relation to information published in the media and online. His latest works have also focused on environmental anxiety. Žák introduced his work at a number of independent galleries and institutions in the Czech Republic, and recently also internationally, e.g. at the Warsaw Biennial. He is active in the Studio without a Master. In 2015, he became a holder of the EXIT award, in 2017 he was a finalist of the Other Visions competition at PAF Festival of Film Animation and Contemporary Art in Olomouc. He works for Artyčok TV and the National Film Archive in Prague.