Submission
Radek Brousil

There Was a Choir, There

A solo exhibition by Radek Brousil organised by KOMPLOT in collaboration with: Czech Centre Brussels & Embassy of the Czech Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium With the support of Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles


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“I don’t know if anything at all will be alright.”
The Main hero of Radek Brousil’s film in a half-dead fish costume wanders through a city and a country in a mental dialog speaking to a female hyper object about the end, shame, guilt, and possibility to do something. Skateboarding, smoking cigarettes, and questions about “feeling the butterflies” together with long, distancing shots and captivating music as if it would refer to the melancholic romance of independent 90s cult movies. The authenticity of intimate experience is however constantly alienated by the overall theatricality of costumes and props, overplay, cut-ins, and mainly ever-present shadows of real catastrophe. Intentionally unresolved ambivalence of intimate and real-life drama can be hence read as resolutive appeal. Textile objects and staged film photographs further problematize the malleability of the seemingly contradictory linking of activism and escapism. Critical reading of Czech culture and history mingle with personal sentiment for the landscapes of our childhood.
The exhibition “There Was a Choir There” is therefore a mutual bound of personal and general, in Brousil’s previous work evolved ecological topics and personal predispositions and memories. The bonding agents in this assemblage are often intentionally contradictory emotions.

excerpt from the text by Julie Béna

Radek Brousil is a Czech artist who makes installations, working predominantly with textiles, alongside ceramics, film, photography and video. His theme addresses social testimony, presenting an activist expression on an uncertain future. Brousil defines social, cultural and environmental problems using unexpected interpretations and terminology, and chooses rather to look at these issues on a symbolic, personal and emotional level. His interest focuses on post-colonial tendencies in contemporary artistic discourse, for example, his investigation into the issue of the origin and distribution of flowers or textiles.Through his work with textiles, Brousil emphasises their Czech origin and African destiny, enabling him to highlight the problems of market economy and its power structures. Radek Brousil graduated from the Studio of Photography at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, where he is currently continuing his doctoral studies. In 2015 he received the Oscar Čepan Award for Young Visual Artists. His works are included in local and international private and institutional collections.