Like music performers playing unplugged, i.e. exclusively on acoustic musical instruments instead of electric ones, ten artists from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia created site-specific projects for Galerie Rudolfinum with minimal use of energy for production and transport and with an emphasis on handicrafts. The gallery invited artists to explore “environmental thinking” as the theme of the UNPLUGGED exhibition. Artists were given a free use of a part of the gallery space for three months and some works have been on the site. Other artworks – in the spirit of the exhibition – came to the gallery from the studio, for example on a horse-drawn carriage or a special handcart; a set of works from Antwerp, Belgium, has been brought by a cyclist on a bicycle. The exhibition uses only daylight for lighting, which is why its opening takes place on August 12 from 4 pm until nightfall in the Rudolfinum courtyard and in the area in front of the gallery. You can visit the UNPLUGGED exhibition in the Galerie Rudolfinum from 13 August until 29 November 2020; admission is free courtesy to our partner Avast Foundation.  

“The term environmental thinking is not a scientific discipline such as ecology, but rather a set of questions that cannot be answered unambiguously, but which are essential to remember in everyday activities. It is an attitude which asks questions about the relationship and balance between natural and artificial (cultural) entities. It can be seen as holistic thinking, a heightened sensitivity to the world around us, of which we are a part and which we create,” explains curator David Korecký the theme of the exhibition, adding for emphasis: “That is why environmental thinking, rather than the climate crisis or identity crisis of the Western civilization, has been chosen as the theme of the exhibition, although these topics are very closely related.”

With the UNPLUGGED exhibition, Galerie Rudolfinum wants to highlight the qualities that we tend to overlook due to the ease of use of machines and automated production. The exhibition places emphasis on daylight and physical experience when encountering art; it wants the audience to leave its comfort zone. The exhibition sets out to limit the resources spent on the production of artificial materials and their transportation, all while maintaining the professionalism of institutional representation. Each of the exhibiting artists responded to the challenge differently, so the exhibition offers a diversity of forms of art and approaches.

The UNPLUGGED exhibition presents monographs by the American artist John Cage – drawings from his cycle Ryoanji (1983-85), including a part of the musical score of the eponymous composition, which he wrote to go with the drawings. Visitors will be able to enjoy the track at the exhibition on several occassions, played by Petr Wajsar, an expert on Cage’s musical work, and performed by members of the Czech Philharmonic. Czech artist Habima Fuchs contributes to the theme of environmental thinking with her ceramic objects, such as the series Hanging Cities, from an Ancient Civilisation (2015) or one hundred and eight ceramic glazed bowls poignantly titled 108. The Belgian artist Rinus van de Velde responded to the challenge by creating a series of new drawings, which, in the spirit of the exhibition, were transported from Antwerp to Prague by bicycle by his friend, a passionate cyclist.

The artistic duo unconductive trash (Michal Pěchouček and Rudi Koval) created a complex painting installation Burning Daylight, that includes “the colour tone” of the daylight penetrating into the exhibition room through the ceiling. As theatrical journey and an imaginary intergenerational dialogue, the visitor walks through an installation called Inheritance by the Slovak artist Tomáš Džadoň, who redrew the drawings of Fero Jablonovský (*1956).

The abstract painting Overview by Czech artist Patricie Fexová was created directly on the site and refers to the emotion first described by astronauts looking at the Earth from a distance – similar empathy, sense of belonging and the urge to care based on the experience of fragility of something beyond us. The Czech artist Tomáš Moravec responded to the theme of the exhibition with a composed sculptural installation Manuport with an element of performance. Its centrepiece is a one and a half ton stone, transported to the gallery from the artist’s studio on a horse-drawn carriage.

The Austrian conceptual duo of sculptors Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch works in their project Lascaux – Parallel Worlds with the social aspect of the gallery building with all its staff visitors, and raises issues of connection and disconnection from systems, rules and social conventions. The exhibition concludes with a painting and sculpture intervention by the Czech artist Lenka Vítková called When, in which the author reflected on the original purpose and space of the Galerie Rudolfinum and the theme of the classical hanging painting. The exhibition includes an essay by the Czech writer, philosopher and translator Ladislav Šerý.

Galerie Rudolfinum tried to observe the concept of the exhibition not only in transport, but also by reducing the volume of air conditioning, hand-making the exhibition catalogue and posters for the exhibition, hand-sewing banners from tent fabric, hiring a mountain climber to hang them on the building instead of using a motorized platform, as well as commissioning a sign writer to do inscriptions. The exhibition uses only daylight for lighting.


Exhibiting artists:
John Cage (performed by members of the Czech Philharmonic)
Tomáš Džadoň
Patricie Fexová
Habima Fuchs
Tomáš Moravec
Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch
unconductive trash (Michal Pěchouček a Rudi Koval)
Rinus van de Velde
Lenka Vítková

Essay: Ladislav Šerý

Curator: David Korecký


A limited edition of the hand-made catalogue has been produced for the UNPLUGGED exhibition, which complements the Guide to the Exhibition with a text by the curator David Korecký and includes an overview of the exhibiting artists and their works. The Catalogue and the Exhibition Guide were designed by graphic designers Petr Bosák, Robert Jansa (20YY Designers).

ARTPARK – Get Unplugged and Switch on

Artpark, too, is getting ready for the UNPLUGGED exhibition. Through interactive entertainment, visitors will be invited to ask the same questions as those raised by the main exhibition: How much energy (and not just electric power) we really need to live? What will change in the way we see the world if we slow down and focus on the seemingly small things? Is today’s fast and technology-driven world causing us to miss something important?

Accompanying events

UNPLUGGED // Exhibition Opening

UNPLUGGED // Exhibition Opening



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Alšovo nábřeží 12
110 00 Prague 1 

Opening on 12 Aug at 4PM

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