My Europe

After its successful premiere in Brussels, the My Europe exhibition is on its way to Prague. Eva Eisler and the Czech Centres will present it at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art from October 7 until November 18, 2009. The participating artists, selected for the project by curator Eva Eisler, have addressed the concept of Europe and the European community with a variety of media and methods. 

Individual views of Europe by a wide group of artists fit within the concept of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation as declared for 2009 by the European Union, the exhibition’s original initiator.“When selecting the artists for My Europe, my approach was to create a community of strong personalities active in different areas of art, architecture and design and to get them to treat a joint theme by creating works which might reach outside their customary style both formally and conceptually. At the same time, all of the artists have maintained their unique style of expression and conveyed their personal attitude to Europe and the European project,” says Eva Eisler, the show’s organizer, curator and architect, of the show’s concept. 

The artists invited to join the project constitute a wide spectrum, from members of the student generation to world-​renowned personalities. From their disparate works, the curator has created a single whole expressing the idea of the European Union as an unfinished puzzle of individual pieces that, together, will slowly form a future European unity.
The participating architects and designers were able to express their relationship to the Old Continent entirely on their own terms. For example, Petr Nikl created a pair of ‘eyeglasses for dreaming’ while architects Josef Pleskot and Jan Kaplický are represented by delicate jewelry pieces. Among other artists represented are Veronika Bromová, Milan Cais, Václav Cigler, Federico Díaz, Jiří Kovanda, Tomáš Medek, Jakub Nepraš, Rudolf Netík, Jiří Pelcl, Maxim Velčovský, as well as the show‘s curator, Eva Eisler. 

The assignment for each artist was to create an object whose dimensions would not exceed 50cm in any direction. The works are placed in glass vitrines arranged in a 25meter-​long line to form a kind of stationary train. The choice of artists suggests that inside the train a dynamic dialogue is taking place. The overall effect is that of a surprisingly cohesive collection of individual works that nonetheless testify to the singular approach and views of each artist.

The installation exudes a calm elegance and draws viewers in through its inner harmony. The exhibition also entails an installation of photographs mounted on aluminium panels where each participant is represented by one major work, adding to the dynamics of artistic confrontation. The installation is variable, easily assembled and transportable.

“My Europe is a project which cultivates within itself the views of personalities from the fields of architecture, design, and contemporary art. This concept ideally corresponds with the mission of DOX, namely crossing the borders between individual disciplines,” says Leoš Válka, director of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. 

To complement the exhibition, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art will stage a public Q&A with Eva Eisler on November 18, 2009, starting at 6 p.m.; the Q&A is part of an ongoing series on Czech design. The exhibition’s premiere in Brussels and its Prague installation are achieved with financial support from the Czech Centres and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, who are also the project’s official partners.

Eva Eisler - a prominent Czech-​American designer and artist active in the areas of jewellery design, interior design, architecture and visual art. Eisler currently heads the metals department at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Eisler’s work is represented in many international public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum and Cooper-​Hewitt Museum, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and Musee des Beaux Arts, Montreal.