The Garden of Problems
GHMP, Prague City Gallery
8 November 2023 - 18 February 2024
We get to the bottom of multiple problems here – with celeriac ontology, black magic, humour, losing vision of the future and especially with taking root.
- Dec 2023
Artist: Jakub Jansa
Exhibition title: The Garden of problems
Curator: Sandra Baborovská
Part of venue: Thinking Through Film
Location: 1. floor of the the Stone Bell House, GHMP, Prague
Dates: 8. 11. 2023 – 18. 2. 2024
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and GHMP, Prague, foto: Jan Kolský
The first floor of gothic Stone Bell House, is dedicated to Jakub Jansa’s Garden of Problems project, which for the first time brings together episodes from the Club of Opportunities series, dating from 2017 to the present. Viewers visit the gallery instead of “Netflixing.” The Garden of Problems show presents seven successive episodes in seven halls, which together form a complex story.The series thematizes social issues of our time and raises questions about authority and cultural and class relationships. Underprivileged entities turn into elites and vice versa, with new opportunities arising during this transformation. Each episode creates situations between reality and fiction, gradually revealing the story through video, objects, set design and acting performance.
Author and director: Jakub Jansa
Collaborators: Kamil Nábělek, Kryštof Hlůže, Karolína Juříková, Oliver Torr, Dominik Dabrowski, Alice Krajčířová, Sebastian Kučkovský, Iryna Drahun, Matěj Martinec, Kryštof Hlůže, Eliška Pitráková, Nicolas Atcheson, Růst Cakes Performance: Jan Kostiha, Ester Geislerová., Kamil Nábělek,
Trin Alt Vajd, Mark.ta VuTru, Dexton Kotora, Katsuhiro Iwashita, Veronika Čechmánková., Jakub Samek, Zai Xu, Linda Vondrová., Rokhaya Gueye, Anita Lubadika, Adéla Sobotková., Mary Nguyen, Linh Nguyen, Agáta Hrnčířová.
We follow the character of the Seer (Oracle), who no longer has a vision of the future and feels anxious. We witness the Seer touching all celeriacs and giving them tattoos with socially beneficial functions. The form of a confessional interview is complemented by emotional, music-tinged interludes, as the Seer tattoos the celeriacs with the names of various positively perceived occupations or rather functions or destinies. A deconstruction of storytelling in relation to expected role choices and expected scenarios is at the core of the work.
The character of the Red Herring, a hybrid creature between a human and a celeriac, is introduced. And now he’s challenging his origin, i.e., revolting against the Seer. He discovers that mythology is mere narrative. By taking control of this narrative, he can steer it in a different direction. He leaves his safe place within the myth to enter the battlefield and fight on a political level. He finds his own individuality and becomes a dark-side influencer
Red Herring works in an avocado bar, where he compares himself to elites—the avocados. He wants to become part of the higher vegesociety. In the process, he must undergo an insulting battle with his inner self. He doubts himself and experiences an identity crisis.
We observe the celerist in yet another surprising situation - he gains status in the vegesociety and is invited into avocado circles. However, he cannot internally relate to this new social
class. At the same time, he has already made a break with the environment from which he emerged. He experiences an intense sense of rootlessness and can only be relieved by class and social coming out. He founds a movement for uprooted vegetables.
In the position of the hot vegetable of the season, the celerist is invited to speak at the Flower Union’s gala event. The supernatural figure of the Seer, no longer able to predict the future, takes over the second part of the programme and activates the decorative flowers in an eco-sexual celebratory ritual. The Seer shows the plants that if they put their pistils and calyxes together, they can reach out to the public and change the course of things. So let’s hope that the ability to see into the future returns again.