Initial proposal for Center for Contemporary Art, Prague: Public Art Installation
The ubiquitious signs of soviet propoganda that lined every street corner of prague have disappeared. In their place are the new images of capitalism: advertisements. But one prime spot remains empty and forgotten; facing the vltava river adjacent to the tunnel to letna are 8 large metal frames on the wall of nabřeže edvarda beneše . I would like to propose to the city of prague to once again activate that space, but with art. It could be a rotating exhibition, with various artists putting up images each month. It would not only enhance the beauty and interest of the city, but make a statement to the future that not all of prague' s prime public areas are dedicated to advertisement for products. To initiate the project, i propose hand painted billboards on metal to be installed in the current frames along the street. Where once were communist hammer and sickles, i would paint brightly colored abstract images of flowers and purposfully "pretty" designs, inspired by children's drawings, andy warhol ad designs, and russian constructivism. This is a direct reaction to the politicized history of the space (where once the large stalin statue stood above the river). My 'posters' would be highly decorative, beautiful, banal images with no "message" other than something perhaps aesthetic and abstract. The colors and motifs are inspired from the 1960's hippy movement called "flower power", that utopian philosophy based upon the giving of flowers to end war and human misery. As prague is often compared today to a new revival of some of those ideals, and her youth seems also infatuated with that time period, i hope these images will appeal to a wide audience who ride and drive along that part of the river vltava each day.
Barbara Benish 1997, Prague
Project realized in 2000