Adam Štech: houellebecq!

21 Jun – 6 Oct 2024

We’re open to all, now also you

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Poupětova 1, Prague 7
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The exhibition houellebecq! by Adam Štech is neither a tribute to the French writer Michel Houellebecq nor an illustration of his works. Nor does it attempt to interpret or explain anything of his texts. Štech explores primarily himself, mediated in any way. It is important for him to enter the work himself, which paradoxically also allows for a kind of detachment and reserve. Štech's artistic world is diverse, ranging from self-portraits, images of family and friends to politicians and pop stars.

Houellebecq's reception in the Czech environment does not differ much from other cultural regions, ranging from enthusiasm to sharp rejection. But discussions of Houellebecq are in some cases as interesting and thought-provoking as his work. As with himself and his surroundings, Štech is ironic and caricaturing of Houellebecq. He shatters the mirror, and the newly composed image is not flattering, but perhaps all the more true. Such an approach also requires the artistic courage to open up one's private life, however stylized, to the audience. Štech does not lack this boldness, and he and Houellebecq are aligned on this point. It is an openness of form and content, of body and soul, as well as a subtle play with the spectator, confusing and unsettling them. The intensity is multiplied by the complexity of the individual images, as well as their imaginary dialogues. They thus have a narrative capacity of their own, becoming the successive chapters of a novel story, but one that is mutable, different for each viewer and dependent on individual experience.

Adam Štech studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (2001-2008) in the painting studios of Jiří Sopek and Vladimír Skrepl, and during his studies he also completed an artist residency at Bellas Artes in Portugal. In 2004, he received the Jiří Sopek Studio Prize at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and in 2011 he was awarded the 4th Critics' Prize for Young Painting by the Association of Art Critics and Theorists of the Czech Republic. Adam Štech's work is represented in many Czech and foreign private and public collections. In recent years, he has prepared solo exhibitions for the DSC Gallery and the Václav Špála Gallery in Prague or the František Drtikol Gallery in Příbram, and from foreign institutions at the Ascaso Gallery in Miami or the Prague House in Brussels.

Curator: Otto M. Urban