“The Gulliver Airship” at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art Prague

The exhibition describes the conceptual side of the creation of the airship, its inspirations, technical design, and its construction. This permanent monumental architectural intervention in the shape of an airship was inspired by the idea to invade the DOX Centre’s modern industrial building with a “parasitic“ structure that would contrast with its existing architecture.

 

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

 

In 2013 the DOX Centre’s director, Leoš Válka, contacted internationally acclaimed architect Martin Rajniš, the 2014 winner of the Global Prize for Sustainable Architecture. For more than two years together with wood and steel specialists they worked on the design of what finally turned out to be a 42m long and 10m wide structure inspired by the shapes of the giant airships that began to cruise the skies at the dawn of the twentieth century.


 

Practical information

“The Gulliver Airship” exhibition on  the conceptual side of the creation of the airship
December 11, 2016 – June 30, 2017

“The Gulliver Airship” permanent intervention at
DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Poupetova 793/1, Prague 7
Czech Republic

 


The shape of the zeppelin is symbolic. The early zeppelins represented the optimistic ideals of a new era of unprecedented technological advancements. With their remarkable monumentality and hypnotic dignity that would continue to fascinate generations to come long after they had vanished from the skies.

 

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

 

The zeppelins have always embodied the eternal human desire to fly, and have represented a certain utopian ideal. The airship above the DOX Centre is to bear the name of one of the most famous characters in utopian literature. Gulliver will serve as a space for reading and public discussions of literature fiction, poetry and critical writing related to the themes of DOX’s exhibitions, which typically offer a critical view of particular aspects of the contemporary human situation.

 

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

 

In 2008 the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague first opened its doors to the public as the result of a private initiative by its current director, Leoš Válka, and his partners. The reconstruction of a former factory into a multifunctional space was soon nominated for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award, and for the past eight years the institution has continued to fulfil its mission: to create a space for research, presentation, and debate on important social issues, where arts in dialogue with other disciplines encourage a critical view of the so-called reality of today’s world.

The construction of a giant wooden airship “suspended” above the DOX Centre is yet another testament to Leoš Válka’s personal conviction that is reflected in the DOX Centre’s overall philosophy: that even in today’s fast-paced, globalized world where nothing that cannot be calculated, evaluated, or predicted is worth risking for, “things can be done differently.”

 

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

 

“The idea to invade the DOX Centre’s starkly modern austere concrete-and-glass architecture with a ‘parasitic’ structure has been on my mind for several years. I first dreamed of an absurdly fascinating organic shape that would contrast with the DOX Centre’s existing architecture,” says Leoš Válka.

In 2013 he invited internationally acclaimed architect Martin Rajniš, the 2014 winner of the Global Prize for Sustainable Architecture, to join him in realizing what he calls “a dream of 12-year-old boys.” For more than two years together with wood and steel specialists they have been working on the design of what finally turned out to be a 42 meter-long and 10 meter-wide structure inspired by the shapes of the giant airships that began to cruise the skies at the dawn of the 20th century.

 

"The Gulliver Airship" © DOX Centre

“The Gulliver Airship” © DOX Centre

 

The shape of the zeppelin is symbolic. The early zeppelins represented the optimistic ideals of a new era of unprecedented technological advancements. With their remarkable monumentality and hypnotic dignity that would continue to fascinate generations to come long after they had vanished from the skies, they have always embodied the eternal human desire to fly, and have represented a certain utopian ideal.

The airship is to bear the name of one of the most famous characters in utopian literature. Gulliver will serve as a space for reading and public discussions of literature – fiction, poetry and critical writing – related to the themes of DOX’s exhibitions, which typically offer a critical view of particular aspects of the contemporary human situation.


 

News source: DOX
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