The Gulliver Airship
Between heaven and earth. Between art and literature.
Onboard the airship, beyond the everyday
How do I get to the airship? The airship is accessible with a valid ticket to the DOX Centre during our opening hours.
Is access to the airship barrier-free? Access to the patio under Gulliver is barrier-free, but then there are stairs leading up to the airship.
What goes on in the airship? Literary evenings are held mainly in the spring and fall. You can see the programme here, and you can check out past events in the video archive. We also use the airship for
Can the airship be rented? Yes, more information is available here.
DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Poupětova 1, Prague 7
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The story of the Gulliver Airship is a story of the desire for adventure, creative freedom, the courage to take risks, and the conviction that even in today's accelerated, over-saturated, and over-digitalized world, things can be done differently. That dreams can come true.
The Gulliver Airship is hard to describe in concrete terms and easily labelled categories. It is a place of imagination and fantasy. A place of stories, their telling and sharing. A place where time flows differently, where the surface velocity of our lives can be slowed down. A place between heaven and earth, between dream and reality, between art and literature.
Leoš Válka had been mulling the idea of creating some sort of "parasitical"
structure above the DOX Centre's modern architecture for several years. In 2013 he contacted internationally renowned architect Martin Rajniš, and for more than two years, they and experts on wooden structures and steel worked on the design of a huge architectural intervention inspired by the shapes of the huge airships from the early twentieth century.
The airship shape is symbolic. The first airships represented the optimistic ideals of unprecedented technological progress, and their impressive monumentality and hypnotic dignity continued to fascinate generations long after they disappeared from the skies. They have always personified the eternal human desire to fly as well as a certain Utopian ideal.
That too is why the airship above the DOX Centre is named after one of the most
familiar figures of Utopian literature, Gulliver, a traveller to remote, fantastic worlds and unexplored territories, an adventurer who thanks to his travels into the unknown, conversations with "foreigners" and exploration of the "other" brings critical examination of various and sundry aspects of human nature.
The Gulliver Airship is the symbol of the DOX Centre's programming, focused on
overlaps between contemporary art and literature, which includes exhibitions, site-specific projects, discussions with leading Czech and international writers and poets, programmes for families with children, and educational programmes focused on developing empathy, creativity, and critical thinking.
Escape reality by a few metres above the ground
Where did the airship
Authors: Leoš Válka, Martin Rajniš, David Kubík
Co-author: Zbyněk Šrůtek
Head designer: Dvořák & partners
Collaboration: Zbyněk Šrůtek, Pavel Kocourek, Eva Fajkusová
General contractor: STYLBAU
Main contractors: TIMBER DESIGN, ELEKTRO MOSEV
Between art and literature
… things are going on
Samuel Beckett’s Visual Imagination
A presentation by Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon that will examine Samuel Beckett’s personal library, which has remained in his apartment in Paris since his death in 1989. It will discuss the reading traces and marginalia found in these books to chart Beckett’s intellectual world.
Such Other Presence
An artistic dialogue between two personalities and life partners. The painter Patrik Hábl is an artist who works with image and space in an exceptional way. Anna Beata Háblová, a poet, slam artist, architect and urban planner, distinctively combines space with words.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the Gulliver Airship
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an acclaimed Nigerian author and a defining voice on race and gender for the digital age, is visiting Prague for the first time. The discussion with the author in the Gulliver Airship will be hosted by Ladislav Nagy.
Focus on Belarusian Authors: My Home is in Language
A discussion evening in the Gulliver Airship, featuring authors of contemporary Belarusian fiction and poetry Dmitrij Strocev, Eva Vežnavec, Andrej Chadanovič and Illja Sin. The event will be led by Jáchym Topol.
Viktor Karlík’s exhibition LITERATURE presents sculptures and objects from the series of the same name that began in 2012, complete and in public for the first time and in its original material form. This exhibition is a development from its presentation in book form by Edice Revolver Revue.
Meander, which publishes children’s books, has been on the Czech market for 25 years now, and we will celebrate this anniversary with the Fenomeander exhibition. You will encounter several generations of Czech artists who in a unique dialogue with authors of texts co-create our awareness of books.
ON AIR: MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland
Meet MoLI in a conversation on curating literature in an art space followed by readings from award-winning Irish authors and their Czech translators.
Educational programmes for the small, not so small, and big
During The Story
Telling stories has been part the human experience since time immemorial. We create stories, remember them, write them down, illustrate them, share them. Experience a story according to the international Narrative4 project
How much does storytelling need illustration, and how much do images need a story? An educational programme inspired by the Narrative4 method for the Fenomeander exhibition.
Gulliver’s Travels Into Fantasy
Where would you like to go if you were able to magically transport yourself? Would it be some familiar place on Earth, a yet-undiscovered island, or a completely fabricated world? Past or future? And what would you bring back with you to our reality?
Gulliver’s Travels into Space
How did an airship come to “land” on top of the strict and clean features of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art? Why is it called Gulliver? What is it made of and what makes it so “different”?