Dawn of the Magicians?

Art, Science, and Society at the Turn of the Millennium
17 October 1996 – 28 September 1997
Národní Galerie v Praze, Veletržní palác

1. From Mediamatic Drawings to Cyberspace
2. Lost and Found
Curated by: Jaroslav Anděl, Miloš Vojtěchovský and Ivona Raimanová


The first edition of the Down of the Magician? exhibition project took place in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague. The two-year-long project was initiated by the new director of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art Jaroslav Anděl as a pilot project for the transformation of the Veletržní palác. The exhibition curators wanted to try alternative towards the previous model of exhibiting of fine art in the National Gallery in Prague and to open the Trade Fair Palace towards the Czech society and to international contexts. The curators tried to suggest a afinities not only between different disciplines and periods of contemporary and modern art, but also between art, politics, science and technology.

The exhibition originally should be changed four times, a comprehensive catalog published and a number of significant Czech and foreign artists presented. This was accomplished only partially, as the Director of the Collection gradually entered into disputes and conflict with the NG leadership, mainly with the General Director Martin Zlatohlávek.

Relatively unusual was also the interconnection of "big" themes such as cosmology, spirituality, science and nature with contemporary art and the affinity between the thematically related works of art from "high" and seemingly "marginal" art. Until then the approach in NG practise not so common. This horizontal method was suggested in the subtitle of the forst chapter of the exhibition project "From Mediamatic Drawings to Cyberspace".

The second chapter dealt with more with the themes of memory and oblivion.

The project was connected as well with the idea to establish  The Vilém Flusser Institute, which would become a new media research and new media restauration departement of The Contemporary Art Collection at The National Gallery in Prague.

Exhibition artists

Chapter 1

Michael Bielický; Lubor Benda, Ladislav Čarný; Jiří Černický; Peter Fischli-David Weiss; Martin Janíček; Jan Jedlička; Beneš Knüpfer; Vladimír Kokolia; Jiří Kornatovský; Matej Krén; František Kupka; Karel Malich; Frank Josef Malina; Paul Demarinis; Julius Edvard Mařák; Jiří Matoušek; Ilona Németh; Petr Nikl; Roman Signer; B.K.S .; Martin Spanjaard; Zdeněk Sýkora; Miloš Šejn; Josef Váchal; Rudolf Dzurko, Pavel Brázda, Janka Vidová; Martin Zet, a collection of media drawings from the Nová Paka Museum.

Chapter 2

Eye Scratch, Nan Hoover, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Serrano, Jiří Bartůněk, Pavel Brázda,  Surrealistická skupina, Dalibor Chatrný, Jiří David, Arnold Dreyblatt, Atilla Czorgo, Otis Laubert, Tomáš Ruller, Daniel Fischer, Peter Campus, Barbara Benish, Gerco de Ruijter, Jiří Příhoda, František Drtikol, Vladimír škoda, Pavel Kopřiva, Graham Harwood, Tenesee Rice Dixon / Jim Gaperini, Joan Jonas, George Lagrady.  

Catalog / brochure: Author's team. The Down of the Magicians. Art, Science, Society at the End of the Millennium. (Periodical, number of pages 8).