I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover in this post, so get ready! These last two weeks have been filled with high culture events: Prague Fashion Weekend show, the opera La Traviata and many, many gallery events.
So far, I’ve achieved (actually exceeded) my goal of visiting one gallery a week. Prague has so many venues for exhibitions to offer that I doubt I’ll be unable to find a new gallery every seven days.
Last week and the week before, I succeeded in viewing six exhibitions!
- The Prague Communist Museum- this gallery was a cluttered, chaotic mess of the full history of communism in the Czech Republic. The museum has collected all different types of media to illuminate the gut wrenching struggles the Czech people went through under communist rule and what they sacrificed for liberation.
- Vaclav Havel Exhibit at the New Town Hall Gallery
- Kafka Museum- I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of the exhibit itself, but this museum is by far the coolest, most well organized permanent exhibit I’ve seen here in Prague. It combines space and sound to put the viewer into Kafka’s life and feelings at each stage of his writings. Definitely a must see.
- The opening of the Czechoslovak Trophies exhibit at the Chemistry Gallery, which my Czech roommate took me to. We saw this electronic rock band play live: http://soundcloud.com/fertilizer-2
- Salvador Dali exhibit in the heart of Old Town Square
- Julius Koler- Slovak artist exhibit in Tranzitdisplay gallery
This picture, from the Tranzitdisplay website of the opening I was at, shows the unique format of the exhibition where the director asked a group of 10 people which works they would like to see from Koler’s archives. Koler’s works consist of newspaper clippings that he archived, creating a great discussion on what actually constitutes art. It was so cool to experience specifically Slovak and Czech exhibits because the art usually deals with the unique history of the Czech Republic and an artistic response to communism and national identity. All these exhibits are a great way to learn more about the history of the Czech Republic before starting classes.
A note about gothic architecture in Prague—it is everywhere and it is amazing.
This is a picture taken after Fashion Weekend at the entrance to Prague Castle at night. It is lit just perfectly so the sharp angles of the gothic architecture are emphasized. It literally glows and one can’t help but stare in awe at the magnificence of it.
You can’t help but be overwhelmed when you spot this gem of gothic cathedral from an overlook at Kutna Hora (an historic town about 1 hr. and 30 min. outside of Prague).
Also at Kutna Hora, our group went to this old bone church, or ossuary, that was considered sacred land so everyone wanted to be buried there. So much so that there was not enough space and a monk stacked the bones to make room. Crazy.
Prague definitely has the best of both worlds in art: a gothic, old school atmosphere that envelops the spirit of the city, as well as a thriving contemporary, conceptual art scene.
This week, I’m enjoying the last of Prague’s nice weather and studying in typical Czech beer gardens. While I’ll obviously miss the sunny weather, Prague has the perfect atmosphere that makes you want to brew a pot of tea and snuggle up on your coach in Fall while studying for midterms, or going to a local underground cajovna (tea room) and sipping away the stress of studying among friends. Let a new season of school and Fall weather begin!