March 31, 2011 - Czech and Slovak Republic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - At the 54th Venice Biennale
March 31, 2011

At the 54th Venice Biennale

Dominik Lang, from the “Sleeping city” project, 2011.
Photography 1988, 2011.

At the 54th Venice Biennale
Artist: Dominik Lang
Curator: Yvona Ferencová

Commissioners: Petr Hnízdo, Věra KrejčováThe Giardini, Venice
4 June–27 November 2011
Professional Preview:
1–3 June, 2011

The Czech Ministry of Culture is pleased to announce that Dominik Lang will represent Czech and Slovak Republic at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, which will run from the 4th of June to the 27th of November 2011.

Dominik Lang’s (*1980) exhibition project The Sleeping City links two different scuptural approaches with various historical contexts against the background of an intimate family relationship. The presentation connects the works of two authors linked by a personal association, father and son, and thus creates a basis for developing a fictitious inter-generation dialogue. One of the project’s starting points is the fact that the works of Dominik Lang’s father, Jiří Lang (1927–1996), were “short-circuited” by the absurdity of the times, i.e. of the forced uniformity of the 1950s society in the Soviet Block, and have remained – in spite of the initial laudatory epithets: “a good start”, “promising” – deposited in the author’s studio, “incarcerated” in its own times. The stifling atmosphere of a studio crowded with “sleeping” statues, the social insulation, resignation, and apathy, but also one particular 1960 relief, called “The Sleeping City”: these are the sources for the title of D. Lang’s multi-layered project.

In his artistic work thus far, D. Lang has typically presented himself in the double role of author and architect, a role that includes manipulating already-finished material and composing new wholes out of it. In the Sleeping City project, D. Lang pushes this basic pattern towards greater complexity, a larger scope as well as a radical strengthening of personal and emotional engagement. D. Lang’s working method has thus become more effective but also more risky, as the material is no longer some object or the interior of an artistic institution, as it was before, but rather the work of another artist, and moreover one that is intimately known to him. By means of assorted objects, artistic works and assembled documents, D. Lang allows us to both enter the past and to uncover the volatile intimacy of moments opening “beyond time”.

The Sleeping City project is being realized in the Czechoslovak Pavilion after a series of clashes surrounding the selection process. Even though it was this project that the commission charged with assigning the pavilion selected, the Director of the National Gallery made the autocratic appointment of a different project – whose authors, however, refused to realize the plan, thus protesting the deviant procedure. In the cul-de-sac thus reached, the Czech presentation was transferred under the supervision of the Czech Ministry of Culture, which then re-selected the Sleeping City project, as originally recommended by the commission of experts.

Dominik Lang *1980, Prague (Czech Republic). Lives and works in Prague. He studied in Spatial art studio of Jiri Prihoda at the Academy of fine arts in Prague. In 2006/2007 he studied at Cooper Union in New York. Since 2010 he does his PhD at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Usti and Labem. In 2006 he worked as assistant of Ai Weiwei in Peking and from 2008 he is assistant in the studio of visiting professor at the Academy of fine Arts in Prague. He works as curator of the Centre of Contemporary Art in Prague. He is the author of projects, which move on the border of art and architecture of exhibitions focusing on critical reflection of institutional mechanisms. Works of Dominik Lang have often a character of interventions into specific social, spatial and historical situations.

For further information:

For International and Local Media Enquiries:
The Czech Ministry of Culture
T: +420 257 085 300
F: +420 224 324 282

At the 54th Venice Biennale
Czech and Slovak Republic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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