Updates: 02/22/2022 20:35
Released: 22.02.2022, 20:33
Prague – About three dozen people gathered in front of the new Kunsthalle Prague gallery tonight. Young people connected with art or gallery operations protested against the alleged connection between money from the business activities of the gallery’s founder Petr Pudil and the world of art. The gallery, which Pudil built in Prague’s Klárov from the former transformation station, was opened to the first visitors today. They stood in line until the evening so we could see the first exhibitions. Representatives of the Kunstalle management told ČTK today that the organizers of the happening did not contact them, but Kunsthalle Praha, according to them, will be an open platform that allows discussion of various currents of opinion across the artistic spectrum.
In 2005, the entrepreneur Pudil participated in the acquisition of Mostecká uhelná společnost from the Appian Group. In 2010, he sold his stake to Pavel Tykač. According to publicly available sources, Pudil did not take part in the privatization of the Most Coal Company and was not tried in any of the privatization proceedings.
Speakers said today they perceived almost the same whether Pudil was wrong about “privatizing Mostecká uhelná” or “watching it”. The performers brought canvases on which were printed euro banknotes, on which they crushed pieces of “coal”, ate them and pointed out that if people can breathe the fumes caused by its mining, coal can also be eaten. The canvases stained with pieces of crushed and spattered coal were then framed and stated that they would offer Pudil to buy them for his art collection. The number of protesters matched the number of police and journalists who watched the event.
“Like many museums and galleries in the world, the Kunsthalle, as an independent and non-profit institution, is becoming the target of criticism associated with its funding.
“Kunsthalle Prague has been funded from the beginning by private sources, which until the time of opening come primarily from the founders of the sources, The Pudil Family Foundation. Its co-founder Petr Pudil currently operates in many areas, from renewable energy to real estate, chemicals and Petr Pudil acquired his stake in the coal company Czech Coal only after its privatization and subsequently sold it in 2010, six years before the Paris agreement on climate change.
“Petr Pudil represents for us a capitalist entrepreneur and embodies the system behind the deep social immoralities of today’s world. Petr Pudil is not interested in the well-being he claims, but rather in valuing his own property and the symbolic status he has built in sight of Prague Castle.” said one of the speakers.
“These are all moments that contemporary art looks at and analyzes in its critical view. In addition to environmental issues, contemporary artists focus on global inequality, public space representation and contemporary neo-colonialism, which is related to the business of multinational corporations. But we still believe “We believe that through artistic action we can formulate a path of common escape from capitalism that leads this world to perdition,” the speeches said.