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1999 Beyond Art is a 'living installation' exhibition that will take place at Prague's Mánes gallery starting July 22. The exhibition will amalgamate contemporary art and culture, creating a holistic experience of sight and sound, and present it to the public in a prestigious location.

Never before has such a total-concept contemporary art project been permitted to exist in a gallery of this high caliber and organizers expect their action to affect how contemporary art and culture are presented in the next millennium.


"We are presenting this project as a prototype for the future," says curator Marek Schovanek. "We hope to change the way galleries present art, and the type of art presented."

Live, live, live. Live art. Live installation. Live performances. Live laser and video. Live concerts. Live music. Live sets. Live DJing. Live Video DJing. Live fire shows. Live projections. Live Internet broadcast. Live. Alive. Living. An international group of artists will work together for two weeks to create a collaborative installation, transforming the space - inside the gallery and outside on Žofin island - into a totally new environment. Added to this will be video projections, laser lights and performances.

Electric transformer art installationElectric transformer art installation

Using sand, dead trees, scaffolding, paper and plastic combined with technology, artists Marek Schovanek (CZ-CAN), Florian Langmaack (D), Damian Loboda (P), Wolfgang Spahn (A), Bastiaan Maris (NL), Francois Giovangigli (F), Pete Missing (USA), and Manfred Moorkamp (D) will build an installation created solely for the time and space in which it exists. And then the audio-visual component of the exhibition begins with the merger of contemporary art and current culture.

The apex of the exhibition is an eclectic dance party on July 23, featuring some of Europe's best DJs, video artists and performers. Bring the noise! The party starts at 17:00 July 23 and will run for up to 18 hours on two sound systems - one inside Mánes and the other outside on the island of Žofin. Entrance is free for the first 100 people before 18:00.

The music spans the spectrum of modern electronic music, and includes DJs Eggman (Berlin - electro break beats), Jason Pussypower (Prague, Technical Support - hard house), Dynamix DJs Ix in da Mix and Meltdown Mickey (Europe - techno), Joystick (Paris, Impakt Teknocrates - house and techno), Kraft (Paris, Impakt Teknocrates - hard house and techno), and Jan Radio Nord (Berlin - drum & bass) with Anne Key playing violin.

Paris' Joystick (formerly of Furious) and Kraft played the Roxy club earlier this year and this time they are on tour promoting the September Paris Techno Parade. Dynamix DJ Ixxy of Spiral Tribe fame will play a live techno set, and Berlin's F. P. F. Rampazzo will contribute a laser light show performance and live video projections.

Another highlight of the night is a live video "scratchworks" by Israeli video artist Ron Kazir and Berlin's Safy Assaf Etiel. Simultaneously using four monitors and over 200 video samples, Ron and Safy will improvise their performance in reaction to the music and the situation. Like a DJ scratching a record, they manipulate laser-disks to produce loops that repeat and move an image back and forth, or slow it down and speed it up.

Combined, the two artists have collected thousands of hours of video footage, and draw their images from a range of sources including television programs and commercials, news broadcasts, children's cartoons, old and new films, and documentary works.

Using diesel-fueled rockets and constructions powered by steam, Holland's Bastiaan Maris will create a live industrial sound installation outside on the island, the sound from which will resonate throughout Prague 1, adding another layer to the music. Performances are also expected by Florian Langmaack and Pete Missing.

Blacklight foam artBlacklight foam art

Both the opening of the exhibition and the July 23 party will be broadcast live on the Internet via the MANIFEST Web site at www.manifestinternational.org.

The exhibition 1999 Beyond Art opens with a Vernissage on Thursday, July 22. The four-hour opening features an industrial sound performance by Bastiaan Maris, a tribal improv percussion concert by Mahatok, a concert by Aftermath db and performances by Florian Langmaack and Martin Passler, an audio-visual circus and a live video "scratchworks" performance by Ron Kazir and Safy Assaf Etiel. The Vernissage is open to the public from 18:00 to 22:00 and entrance is free.

Mánes is located at Masarykovo nabreži 250, Praha 1. The gallery is open daily except Monday from 10:00 to 18:00.

1999 Beyond Art is the second project orchestrated by MANIFEST, a new Prague-based civic association supporting contemporary art and culture. MANIFEST burst onto Prague's art scene in April this year with The Last Underground - Art at the End of the Millennium, an international group exhibition of contemporary art.

With The Last Underground, the artists and organizers renovated a decrepit space above the Roxy club in order to house the art. This time, the gallery exists and the art will be made to fit it.
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