Independent Curating

The book INDEPENDENT CURATING as a Leisure Activity: An Independent Curator and Artist-Curator on the Czech Visual Art Scene in 2000–2016 shows how the curator’s profession has evolved in the Czech Republic. This book is designated not only for professionals but also for students of universities teaching art history, curating and visual art. The text introduces the history of curating in the Czech Republic in terms of the evolution of visual art since 2000 and in a way expands the book Konečně spolu: Česká nezávislá galerijní scéna 1990–2011(Together at Last: The Czech Independent Gallery Scene in 1990–2011) and follows up on the project called Czech Action Galleries. The current research focuses on the years of 2010 – 2016 when the extraordinary trend of opening independent galleries run by artists-curators emerged. The long-term research documented a total of about 100 independent galleries in the Czech Republic with a certain outreach to foreign countries. Their summarization can serve in the future as a guidepost for alternative artistic activities on the Czech gallery scene at the beginning of the 21st century. Artist-run galleries in the Czech Republic are discussed in the pivotal third chapter. The fourth chapter maps the curatorial activities at the Altán Klamovka Gallery in Prague during the years of 2004 – 2016. It shows the key goals of this gallery but does not catalogue its exhibitions. The Altán Klamovka Gallery, which is run by an art historian and the author of this book, should be viewed as an independent gallery space with strong experiment potential. The goal of this book is to document curatorial efforts defined in the following terms: independent curator and artist-curator with a focus on experiment and an independent gallery run as a laboratory of contemporary visual art. The book maps individual curatorial activities in view of these terms. The purpose is to capture the ephemeral exhibitions of Czech visual artists with a focus on their community nature and to prove that they have recently become a part of the official structure of the Czech and Slovak visual culture. 

Lenka Sýkorová (1977) is a art historian, critic and curator of contemporary fine art. She studied the History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague, and received her PhD from the Faculty of Art and Design of the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. She has been the curator of the Altán Klamovka Gallery in Prague since 2004. She is the creator of the project Action Galleries. More information can be found at actiongalleries.info or in the book Konečně spolu: Česká nezávislá galerijní scéna 1990–2011 (Finally Together:  The Czech Independent Gallery Scene). She gave lectures at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno University of Technology in the years 2009-2011. Since 2014 she has been focused on the medium – drawing. More information in the book Postkonceptuální přesahy v české kresbě (Post-conceptual Overlaps of Czech Drawing). She has been active in the Department of the History and Theory of Art in the Faculty of Art and Design of the J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem since 2009. She regularly publishes in periodical and other publications (Flash Art, Artalk).