screening and talk
Zbyněk Baladrán, What is a powerless source of all power?
Zbyněk Baladrán, talk and screening "What is a powerless source of all power?", Kino Kinoteka, Zagreb, 2023. (photo: Vanja Babić)

Zbyněk Baladrán

Ana Kovačić

Kino Kinoteka, Kordunska 1, Zagreb
tuesday, 14/3/2023, 6 pm

As part of the program Encounters in the centre, our guest in March is an artist, designer and curator Zbyněk Baladrán. Four of his short films made in the last few years will be shown, followed by a conversation that will touch upon Baladrán’s artistic practice and art’s place in the time of late capitalism and artificial intelligence. Baladrán examines the role of objects through which a society obsessed with itself creates images of its past and future.

In the films that will be screened, Zbyněk Baladrán reflects on how, in our current time, art’s effect on society is no different from that of any other commodified service. The latest one, The signatures of certain things (2022.), is shining a light on the functioning of the art scene in recent decades and can be a starting point for a debate on the ambiguity of the meaning of artworks. Social murder (2021.), inspired by Condition of the working class in England by Friedrich Engels, puts a class question in the loop, depicting the working class as the one bearing all the disadvantages of the social order yet not enjoying its advantages and not being able to lead a normal family life. Also inspired by the written text is Catastrophe (2019.), with the basis on a single-act play by Samuel Beckett from the early 1980s dedicated to Václav Havel imprisoned at the time. This one is also a technical experiment, based on ten compositions, using algorithms with the purpose to simulate a 2D picture so that it resembles a photograph. The series of screenings will be closed with Powerless source of all power (2018.), a video essay touching on the pressing topic of artificial intelligence and non-human unconsciousness. Is it really true that the technology world will not bring relief?

Zbyněk Baladrán, “Powerless Source of All Power”, HDV, 2018, 8:04

Zbyněk Baladrán (b. 1973, Prague) is an author, visual artist, curator, and exhibition architect. In his works, he investigates territories that are occupied by that part of civilization that we call “Western.” Using methodologies similar to those used by the ethnographer, the anthropologist, and the sociologist, this post-humanist “archaeologist” is digging up the remnants of the not-so-distant past, looking particularly at societal systems in relation to the heritage of the political left. He studied art history in the Department of Arts at Charles University and new media at the Academy of Fine Arts, both in Prague. In 2001, he co-founded Display – Association for Research and Collective Practice, where he continues to work as a curator and organiser. He has taken part in exhibitions including Manifesta 5, Donostia-San Sebastian; 11th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art; 56th La Venice Biennale; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Baladrán is represented by Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris; Gandy Gallery, Bratislava; Hunt Kastner, Prague; and cooperative Salvator Rosa.  zbynekbaladran.com

Conversation with Zbyněk Baladrán is a part of pilot program Encounters in the centre financed by the special open call Culture and art in the community by the City of Zagreb. Screening is part of the program Artistic ecologies, strategies of resistance and degrowth financed by HAVC – Croatian Audiovisual Centre and Office for Culture, International Relations, and Civil Society of the City of Zagreb.

The program is supported by:
Office for Culture, International Relations, and Civil Society of the City of Zagreb
Croatian Audiovisual Centre