Bio-Art and Meteorological Art In The Streets of Brno To Commemorate Mendel

In 2022, an exhibition of public art will be dedicated to the memory of Johann Gregor Mendel, the world-famous Brno scientist, considered to be one of the founders of genetics. The exhibition will introduce Gregor Mendel not only as a scientist, but also as a man who, even 200 years after his birth, can inspire contemporary artists. Young creators respond to the global ecological awakening, which makes them reflect on the power that organises life at the macro-level of the environment, human communities, and at the micro-level of cells. Credit: House of Arts 

Brno, 7 June (BD) – The Brno Art Open Biennial, organised by the Brno House of Arts, regularly presents sculptures, objects and installations by local and international artists. The artworks are placed in public spaces, in streets, parks or other locations, to be viewed not only by those interested in the exhibition, but also by casual passers-by. This year’s event is part of Brno’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Johann Gregor Mendel. The opening will take place at 6pm on 7 June at the House of Arts, with performances by artists Kuai Shen and Auriel with their sound performance “Plectrum” and musician Lishaj. The exhibition runs until 28 August.

Curators Milan Mikuláštík and Milan Kreuzzieger have approached local and international artists who work with themes close to Mendel’s research. The work of some of the participating artists is often referred to as bio-art, an artistic movement that radically combines scientific and artistic approaches, manipulates biological (often unstable and dynamically changing) materials and living organisms, and leaves much room for experimentation. Linking artistic and scientific imagination brings a new and enriching perspective on important social phenomena and opens up the discussion of ethical questions and contemporary issues.

The locations for the individual pieces will be selected with regard to the places where Mendel’s historical discoveries took place or were presented (the Old Brno Monastery and the school on Jánská), where small everyday events and activities occurred (Lužánky Park, his parental house in Hynčice), or places highlighting the ambitions of Brno as an active scientific, research and educational centre of international importance.

The invitation to Brno Art Open 2022 was accepted by foreign artists Kuai Shen from Ecuador, Uli Westphal from Germany, Slovenian artist Saša Spačal, Tomas Gabzdil Libertini, a Slovak naturalised in the Netherlands, as well as Anna Hulačová and Jiří Y Suchánek, representatives of the domestic art scene. All of them have created new art projects directly for Brno’s streets and parks. 

Kuai Shen has been dealing with insect life for a long time. His art projects use sophisticated audiovisual installations and explore, through contemporary technologies, the relationships between human society and the behaviour of ants as social insects.

Internationally-known Czech sculptor Anna Hulačová created a pair of sculpted beehives for the Brno Art Open. The garden of the Augustinian monastery, where Johann Gregor Mendel kept various species of bees and tried to crossbreed them, was chosen as their location. Hulačová chose bee colonies from the current monastery breeding to populate her hives.

Experimental musician and visual artist Jiri Y. Suchánek is presenting a large-scale interactive installation at the Biennale that responds to changes in wind and sunlight. The levitating object is simultaneously a weather station and a musical instrument on which the wind “plays”. Suchánek’s Probe Y is fixed to the facade of the school on Jánská, where Mendel first publicly presented his groundbreaking discoveries in 1865.

Brno Art Open 2022 is held with the financial support of the Czech-German Future Fund and the Slovenian Embassy in Prague.

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