Art historian, curator, publicist and cultural activist Jiří Zemánek (b. 1953) is a uniquely important person on the Czech art scene, having inspired artists, curators and other cultural actors of all generations. He focuses on Czech modern and contemporary art, especially sculpture, action and earth art, the history of kineticism and new media art. He is also interested in the connections of artistic practice with ecology and spirituality, as well as the question of paradigm shifts and the concept of integral culture. In his art, Jiří Zemánek works in a much broader context than is usually accommodated in the field of “art history.” He has long promoted the forgotten fact that art has the ability to heal, to shape our mind and frame a story.
In his multi-tiered body of work, Zemánek connects art, spirituality, culture and environmental themes. He brings the thoughts of European and American philosophers who seek possible solutions to the global crisis into the central European context. The core of Zemánek’s new perspective is a vision of the mutually-interrelated, multi-dimensional “living world” which comprises nature (that part of the world not created by human artifice), not only as a component, but rather as the very source of our culture and our humanity. Jiří Zemánek has prepared two books by American eco-philosopher David Abram for publication, and has founded two civic associations, which include PILGRIM, and the Czech section of the Budapest Club. He closely collaborates with a number of international associations of a similar focus, such as The Alliance for Wild Ethics of American philosopher and ecologist David Abram.