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MeetFactory, o. p. s.
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 Curator´s Text / MeetFactory Gallery / Universal Hospitality 2  

Opening: 3 March 2017, at 6pm in Center For Contemporary Art Futura, at 8:30pm in MeetFactory Gallery within Public House event

Exhibition duration: 3 March 2017 – 28 May 2017
Artists: Tomáš Rafa, Pavel Sterec, Michal Moravčík, Csaba Nemes, Lörinc Borsos, Gülsün Karamustafa, Anca Benera / Arnold Estefan, Selda Asal, Dante Buu, Ferenc Gróf, Yevgeniy Fiks, Damian Le Bas, András Cséfalvay, Société Réaliste, Oliver Ressler, Victor López Gonzáles, G.R.A.M., Halil Altindere, Rafani, Marina Naprushkina, Hito Steyerl, Martin Krenn, Núria Güell, Artur Zmijewski, Szabolcs KissPál
The joint exhibition in MeetFactory and Futura Gallery is an updated version of Universal Hospitality curated within the framework of Wiener Festwochen, 2016. The Vienna show focused on migration in accordance with the political situation of the time. The Prague exhibitions, just a year later, are facing a much more devastated landscape of political turmoil after Brexit, the Turkish coup and its retaliation, and are witnessing populism becoming mainstream even in affluent countries. The European Union is crumbling; threatened by Brexit, by the agendas of far-right parties and by Eastern European nationalisms and corruption. As a result, dismantling of democracy, authoritarianism and state control are emerging in different countries on both sides of the Atlantic.  

The title of the exhibition refers to the humanistic ideas of enlightenment and the Kantian idea of cosmopolitanism. The exhibitions address the inherent paradox of being hospitable within the framework of the nation-state, while also trying to keep alive the need, even if only symbolically, for ‘absolute hospitality
¾ with Derrida’s words ¾ in order to foresee a better solution for living together with a ‘stranger.’ While Derrida directs the attention to the shared etymology of the word with its opposite, hostility, he confronts us with the reality of existing hospitality; limited and mastered by the institutions of border patrolling, policing and the administrative control over exclusion and inclusion.

The exhibitions aim to stimulate the deeper understanding of the elements behind the present proceedings, offering a sort of visual analysis of the complex social processes of our turbulent times. They focus on Europe, especially East-Central Europe, and partly on the Middle East; Syria and Turkey (Oliver Ressler, G.R.A.M., Halil Altindere) with an outlook on the global scope of the issues at hand (Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan). Artists address the topics from diverse positions; they provide ironic or playful criticism, but also offer altered perspectives, and insights.

Invisible structures beyond the confines of nation states are revealed and scrutinized (Oliver Ressler), as well as global capitalism with its latent surveillance and controlling system (Núria Güell). The influence of the global economy on local communities (Victor L
ópez Gonzáles) is also evoked. Borders are crossed, and closed, throughout the continent. Old and new democracies are relying on the fear and insecurity of their population, while huge masses of people are condemned to statelessness¾ a status which can’t be earned by choice (Núria Güell). The personal stories of the people who are forced to leave their countries are also evoked (Halil Altindere). Empowering those who are deprived of their basic rights is demonstrated by collaborative art projects (Marina Naprushkina). The clashes, violent conflicts, and demonstrations are chronicled by artists from different angles than what is presented by the sensationalized and alienated media coverage while the mechanisms of the media are also scrutinized (Rafani). Strategies of resistance show old and new ways out of the repressive and vastly inhumane scenarios (Hito Steyerl, Martin Krenn). Some artworks go back in time to research the historical roots of the current phenomenon in order to work through the traumatic past, rehabilitating the memory of those groups who were not offered redemption in the past (Artur Żmijewski).

Szabolcs KissPál
in his fictive museum within the walls of Kostka Gallery investigates the process of the rise of fascism worldwide through its Hungarian trajectory spanning from recent signs back to their historical roots.
A performance, playing the Universal Anthem, the ‘average national anthem’ of the 193 member states of the United Nations compiled by Société Réaliste, opened the MeetFactory exhibition.   The exhibition continues in Futura Gallery.  

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 Open daily from 1pm – 8pm (depends on the evening program), free entrance
Contact and more information: 
Šárka Maroušková → PR Manager → +420 723 706  
MeetFactory is supported in 2017 by a grant from the City of Prague amounting to 10.000.000 CZK. 
CT_Universal Hospitality 2_final.pdf