Dílna Mikulov - Art symposium
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One cannot recognize all authors, although all of them tried to do their best. I was captured by the conscientious approach of Petr Jareš. His mosaics should never end up as decorative works – they have a painting value to them. I also think that the paintings of Alena Beldová, originally a textile designer, go far beyond the border of applied art. Her works also oscillate between the duty to design something and the need for free art. After all, I was also impressed by the paintings of Antonín Střížek, a true painter and magic realist with a nostalgic smile on his face. His paintings bring back the times when people painted in clean shirts and bowties. At first sight, it may seem that Střížek gropes and fumbles, but he fumbles in places where others don’t even dare to tread. The participants of the Mikulov symposium should not come to the town with any plans. They should be inspired in the true meaning of the word succumbs to the town, the countryside, the overall atmosphere. Mikulov is an exceptional town, a phenomenon, and it is definitely worth such test.

Josef Kroutvor

Two Anniversaries

Přemysl Otakar I probably really made a good choice (D. Brichtová – Appearance of the Region and Time), when he in approximately in 1218 (780 years ago) built a castle close to the Pálava hills. The reconstructions that followed (ultimately turning the castle into a chateau), when the building was owned by the Liechtensteins and Dietrichteins, renewal after the burning down at the end of World War II, and recent reconstructions of its interiors and exteriors in recent years have turned it into a lighthouse sitting on a rock – a dominant of a town, lying on the border of the Czech Republic and Austria. The chateau hosts numerous social and cultural events. One of them is the Mikulov Art Symposium. The clumsiness, preposterousness and sometimes even coldness of part of the spectrum of present-day fine art makes me a bit embarrassed and worried about the keeping of goals (?) of this symposium. I do not scorn these works due to the fact that they exist or are presented, but for the sacredness which is often ascribed to them due to the fact that they are misunderstood. Yes, I indeed call some of the works „things“, because I don’t know myself if they deserve to be called art, and I wouldn’t like to be given bad clues. I once happened a visit an exhibition (contemporary young artists, probably from Europe) at which I pointed out to a gallery employee that there were labels missing for some of the exhibited works. The lady smiled and said: „Well, you’re not the first, but that is an old chipped attic door.“ I considered it to be a work of art, which means that I have an attitude to similar „things“, but it’s a blindman's buff, in which we make wild guesses – is it Johnny or Tony? I think that we have managed to keep the continuity of form (without setting standards) with all works that have been created. Most of them are firm, stable, and could last for centuries. We can therefore speak of a collection. About a collection which will have its permanent exposition value in the years to come (until 2000?), thanks to efforts, financing and God. In my opinion, their individual artistic value is not the most important issue on which the Mikulov Art Symposium should focus. And, on the other hand, who is here to judge. Now, as I am writing this, the weather is gorgeous outside. It’s autumn, the sun‘s shining, you can feel the smell of half-fermented wine in Mikulov and new wine is already becoming ready in the local wine cellars. I’m not quite sure for how many centuries this process has been repeated, but what I know for sure is that the result of this is new wine. Only the technologies are changing (slowly). I’m now using a little nostalgia and sentiment and I have a feeling that I will conclude this whole text in this sentiment. There are five workshops after us and we may have one (or ten) more in front of us. And if this newly established process remains permanent and the painting remains a painting and the wine remains wine, the Mikulov château will be turned into a large stunning exhibition of art. (I may not be nostalgic but plain naive now, but who knows?)

Libor Lípa
Symposium Guarantor