An exhibition What we talk about when talking about family
Dům umění Ústí and Labem
May 28 to July 1, 2020
The group MaF was invited by curator Maro Hajrapetjan to take part in the exhibition project “What we talk about when talking about family”. The members of MaF made use of the experience from the competitions for sculptures in public space. We tried to transform a project from gallery into the outer space of the city of Ústí and Labem. Our attention turned to the type of sculptures with family topic, which were placed in the Czech cities from the 1970s through to the end of 1980s. These sculptures usually show an ideal, optimalized form of a family or similarly non-problematic depiction of a mother and a child. This seemingly depoliticized topic was an important form of propaganda in the time of real socialism, and in the present day this is already a bit faded away. Mothers and Fathers didn’t follow the ideology in this project but the facts that the sculptural stylization covered and pushed into the background but which are today – just as years ago – very important for the functioning of a family. MaF comment on the fact that many families have their hidden guide, their potential danger that can have various forms. From the wide range of possible figures entering the scene in a crisis situation we extracted the figure of a lawyer, a confident man, able and ready to solve things. A man standing in the background but still close enough, offering a helping hand or a hand prepared to take everything. Every family can need a lawyer one day and every sculpture can have its lawyers in any city, that is the universal and flexible thing in our project. To certain measure, the stylization of the sculptures into the time of socialist realism helps to do this, although despite the definition this is not realistic but strongly undefined and ambivalent. One of the few common elements of these sculptures is their craft and art incompleteness. For the presentation at the exhibition “What we talk about when talking about family” in DUUL we chose a sculpture of Ivan Záleský, placed close to the exhibition hall in the vestibule of the Municipality of the city of Ústí nad Labem, which used to be the building of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party. We exhibited a model in a scale 1:10, at the same time we were processing the administrative work enabling us to place the sculptures of lawyers at full proportion in the given place. The sculptures were created from a material imitating patinated bronze cast and set in the place on the day of commentated visit. At the ending of the project MaF experimentally placed the sculptures of lawyers close to other sculptures in the open space of the block of houses Severní terasy, and it confirmed the universal and flexible use of our lawyers. Yes, it works everywhere, the thought is stronger than the scale and a long search for the composition.
“Matka v akci”, Umělec 3/2001, p.25.
“Rodinná pouta, Matky a Otcové, ns.r.o.”, author Radek Wohlmuth, Umělec 1/2005, pages 24-29.