14 Nov 2014 – 16 Mar 2015

Public surveillance on a massive scale, the invasion of individual privacy, the growing success of populist politicians and a return of authoritarian regimes in Europe and elsewhere … do such kinds of recent setbacks in the rights of the individual suggest that democracy is on the retreat? Following the progressive expansion of democracy over the past several decades, can it be said that a democratic reversal is in the offing?

The Modes of Democracy exhibition assumes that merely postulating this question is in itself the expression of a genuine concern, a sense of participation and vested interest in it - all part and parcel of a functioning democracy. The central precept underlying the exhibition is that the further development of democracy, its progress and indeed its very survival in a global world depend upon respect for shared values as well as different cultures across regions, nation-states and throughout the wider global community. The exhibition presents inspirational accounts of democracy in operation at various levels: a neighbourhood, a town, a metropolis, an autonomous region, as well as in large and small countries.

The exhibition presents real-life instances of democracy in action not only from Europe and North America, but also from other geographic and cultural areas (i.e. South America and Asia). It thus seeks to demonstrate how local democratic forms are being shaped by global trends and vice-versa, providing insights into an emerging idea of a trans-national democracy. The exhibition showcases individual works of art as well as entire collections of works by various artists, including the documentation of short and long-term projects in which artists are already cooperating with local communities.

The exhibition is divided into eight sections, grouped both thematically and geographically, with Europe being represented with experiences in three countries: civic activities as art projects in Ústí nad Labem, (Czech Republic), the coexistence of three ethnic groups in the autonomous province of South Tyrol (Italy) and crowd-sourcing a new constitution (Iceland).

For detail information please click on the photos.
Exhibition Artists: Adham Bakry (EGY), Štěpánka Bláhovcová (CZ), Libia Castro (ESP) & Ólafur Ólafsson (ISL), Paolo Cirio (ITA), Jiří Černický (CZ), Nicolò Degiorgis (ITA), Department for  Public Appearances (CZ), Hannes Egger (ITA), Ulrich Egger (ITA), Harun Farocki (DEU), Julia Frank (ITA), Thiago Gonçalves (BRA), Haukur Már Helgason (ISL), Siggi Hofer (ITA), Peter Holzknecht (ITA), Jakob De Chirico (ITA), Radek Jandera (CZ), Peter Kaser (ITA), Grzegorz Klaman (POL), Zdena Kolečková (CZ), Pavel Kopřiva and Atelier Interactive media FUD UJEP (CZ), Daniel Latorre (USA), Kristina Leko (HR), Todd Lester (USA), Mančaft (CZ), Paolo Mennea (ITA), Monsters (CZ), Gabriela Oberkofler (ITA), Trevor Paglen (USA), Franz Pichler (ITA), Laura Poitras (USA), Pro kompot (CZ), Ebadur Rahman (BGD), Jakub Szczesny (POL), Felipe Targa (COL), Michaela Thelenová (CZ), Sofie Thorsen (DNK), Peter Tribus (ITA), Leandro Viana (BRA).

Head curator: Jaroslav Anděl.

Curators for the Italian, Czech and South American sections are respectively: Haimo Perkmann, Michal and Zdena Koleček, Daniel Latorre and Todd Lester. 

This exhibition is organized within the framework of the 30th Council of Europe Art Exhibition: The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945, which was initiated by The German Historical Museum, Berlin (Deutsches Historisches Museum) in collaboration with other European partners. The whole project is supported by the European Commission’s "Culture Programme" (2007 – 2013).

Partners of The Desire for Freedom projectDeutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin / Collegium Hungaricum Berlin / Muzeum Sztuki Wspólczesnej MOCAK, Krakow / Palazzo Reale, Milan / Eesti Kunstimuuseum - Kumu Kunstimuuseum, TallinnUmjetnicka galerija BiH, Sarajevo / DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague / Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης  (Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art), Thessaloniki

Accompanying program:
11. 11. | 4 pm
Daniel Latorre: The Wise City – placemaking workshop with an American digital placemaking pioneer
15. 11. | 3 pm
Artists and Democracy – discussion to mark the exhibition opening with the participation of featured artists and curators
22. 11. | 10 am - 5.30 pm
Saturday “homemade” bread baking workshops I.– first workshop with members of the Prazelenina community garden
13. 12. | 10 am - 5.30 pm
Saturday “homemade” bread baking workshops II. – second workshop with members of the Prazelenina community garden
17. 1. | 10 am - 5.30 pm
Saturday “homemade” bread baking workshops III. – third workshop with members of the Prazelenina community garden
24. 1. | 10 am - 5.30 pm
Saturday “homemade” bread baking workshops IV. – fourth workshop with members of the Prazelenina community garden
Other accompanying events are mostly held in Czech language and you can find them here:
Photos from the exhibition opening 13 November 2014.

Exhibition partners:

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The project reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The "Iceland: A Constitution Created on the Principle of Crowd-sourcing” case study has been supported by the Bilateral Fund at a National Level under the EEA and Norway Grants 2009 – 2014.
Media Partners: