Jiří Kovanda
All the Birds of North America

Black Cube, Denver / USA

September 13–October 5, 2018
September 25, 2018
Black Cube
1422 Grant Street
Denver, CO

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All the Birds of North America is an experimental exhibition between Czech artist Jiří Kovanda and Czech curator Michal Novotný. As a migrating bird, Kovanda flew from Prague to Denver with no materials and no sense of the exhibition’s physical location. Kovanda responded to this site—the 30 foot RV parked in a commercial parking lot in Denver’s city center just across from the State Capitol—in real time without foreknowledge or preparation. The exhibition consists of discreet objects and sculptures meticulously placed throughout the site.

The curator, Novotný, says that the works in the exhibition “question the cultural constructions of masculinity with gentle irony, which is typical for Kovanda’s work. The exhibition somehow revolves around man’s relation to nature but also the nature of men.” 

By having the oversized motorhome parked in the urban environment of a downtown Denver parking lot, Kovanda suggests that the situation was already complete. “The motto of the RV rental company is 'See what’s out there.' So, instead of going to the nature, we wanted to twist the idea and go to the urban jungle, with both ideas being romantic stereotypes somehow,” adds Novotný.

Kovanda was very inspired by the stories that he could see behind the many traces of everyday use of the cinematic American parking lot, divided by an alleyway complete with dumpsters. “One motif that I see recurring in the exhibition is how masculinity is associated with phallic contest and how this is consequently used in different marketing products,” adds Novotný. 

This exhibition is Jiří Kovanda’s first exhibition in the United States outside of New York City, NY. Kovanda is a major figure European performance art. The artist is well known for his subtle ephemera—but strongly political—performances and interventions in public space, which he started in the late 1970s under the totalitarian communist regime of Czechoslovakia.

About Black Cube
Black Cube is a nonprofit, nomadic contemporary art museum. At Black Cube, we see ourselves as an unconventional museum pursuing the most effective ways to engage new audiences while supporting artists’ sustainability. Without the traditional boundaries of a physical building, Black Cube is experienced primarily through pop-up art exhibitions conceived by our Artist Fellows.