Upper Space is pleased to announce that Epos 257 will be joining the Upper Space for a 3 month residency in February 2013.
Epos257 is one of the Czech Republic’s most well known and radical emerging public realm artists. His practice is forged from a long background in graffiti art in Prague’s subway system and his public realm ‘additions’ (sculptures) are attracting increasing international attention. Epos257 initially visited Upper Space in 2011 to take part in our launch project ‘Home’. Since then we have been waiting for the right time to collaborate on a longer residency. Epos will be creating new public realm works during his 3 month stay in Manchester, with an exhibition of these new additions and older works in late Summer 2013.
‘One of the most original Czech artists, he started up as a writer but lately has shifted his focus mostly onto public interventions. His trademark work comprises critically charged projects set in the urban environment, mostly on social and ecological motives. He poses to active challenge to social and systemic sterotypes, and to the commercial advertising industry. His modes of expression are diverse, ranging from action painting with paintball marker, to land art-based open space installations.’
- Radek Wolhmuth, Czech art critic
Upper Space – Artist Residency Programme:
As we all witness the government cuts to social spending, whilst we see tax evasion and criminal activity by large private corporations – from household brands to multi-national financial institutions and high street banks. As we witness the wholesale destruction of council services as ‘our’ government – the people we have chosen to represent us – continue in the ancient tradition of oppressing and exploiting the majority of the British public by forcing us to pay (twice) for the mistakes of their policies and the catastrophic results of deregulated financial markets. First with a £200 billion bailout using public money to pay for the financial meltdown, and now again with severe cuts to the services that we all depend on – from youth services to the NHS.
As a result of this reality, our public spaces are becoming utilised by more and more people as places for expression of thought and feeling – from the large scale protest marches that we have witnessed in recent years, the Occupy movement – with its democratic call for Real Democracy and an end to free market Capital, and the ‘sit-ins’ and temporary occupations of big business premises across the UK in 2012 by mothers, families and young people. With people increasingly taking collective ownership and agency over public spaces, our streets and urban environments are returning to more than places simply used to commute and consume as slowly more and more people recognise that something is drastically wrong with the society and conventional wisdom that isolates, encloses and oppresses the British public – the 99%. In response to this situation, Upper Space will be exploring the intersections between art, the social and the public in an ongoing series of residencies, interventions and projects. All of which will be unauthorised and free. With all this in mind we welcome Epos257 back to Manchester this February for Residency 1.
Epos257 is one part of Ztohoven, a Czech collective of artists that rose to notoriety in the Czech Republic and around the world in 2007 for their intervention – ‘Media Reality’. The collective hijacked a live camera feed where viewers of a national television channel witnessed picturesque views of rolling countryside suddenly interrupted by a white flash, and then the familiar mushroom cloud of a nuclear blast. You can find Ztohoven’s artist statement and see a short film on the intervention on their website here. You can also find a New York Times piece on the action here.
Epos257 & The Public Realm:
Over the last 5 years, Epos has developed his practice of installing unauthorised public realm sculptures that he calls additions. His additions are concreted into position as permanent installations within public space. This augmentation of public spaces refers to various themes including enclosure (private ownership), the media, and our shared understandings of what constitutes rural, public and private.
You can find the ’50 Sq.m of Public Space’ project here
You can find ‘Hay’ project here
See ‘Orghoi Khorkoi’ here
More on ‘Urban Paintings’ here
More information and a statement from Epos will follow soon.
Love to Disobey. Disobey to Love.