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'Blasted Heath', a Group Show at A.M. 180 Gallery, Prague

April brought a kind of madness to the country folk, and began that disuse of the road past Nahum’s which led to its ultimate abandonment. It was the vegetation. All the orchard trees blossomed forth in strange colours, and through the stony soil of the yard and adjacent pasturage there sprang up a bizarre growth which only a botanist could connect with the proper flora of the region. No sane wholesome colours were anywhere to be seen except in the green grass and leafage; but everywhere those hectic and prismatic variants of some diseased, underlying primary tone without a place among the known tints of earth. The Dutchman’s breeches became a thing of sinister menace, and the bloodroots grew insolent in their chromatic perversion. Ammi and the Gardners thought that most of the colours had a sort of haunting familiarity, and decided that they reminded one of the brittle globule in the meteor.

— H.P. Lovecraft, The Out of Space, 1927

This exhibition by artists Asma, Kinke Kooi, Siggi Sekira, Zhou Siwei and Viktor Timofeev, is loosely inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s 1927 book “The Colour Out of Space”, in which “Blasted Heath” is a place above Arkham, a fictional town located in New England that appears in a number of Lovecraft’s texts. This is where the story of the destruction of a family farm, caused by the crash of a meteorite shrouded with unearthly powers, takes place.

Through the artworks on show, the exhibition works with the de-hierarchization of the interpretation of Lovecraft’s novel. At the same time, it examines how Lovecraft gives voice to contemporary fears of physical and psychological infection. The model for the selection of works and artists is largely inspired by the period from the book known as the “strange days”. Signaling impending danger, the period is characterized by a transformation of the local vegetation, which reaches abnormal heights, exudes bizarre odors and takes on atypical shades of colour. This radiant psychedelic phenomenon is reflected in some of the exhibited artworks (Asma, Kinke Kooi, Zhou Siwei); in the case of Siggi Sekira or Viktor Timofeev, they also address forms of dark mystical destruction, one of the book’s themes.

— Monika Čejková

14.2.20 — 3.3.20

ASMA, Kinke Kooi, Siggi Sekira, Zhou Siwei, Viktor Timofeev

Curated by Monika Čejková

Photo by Jakub Hájek, František Hanousek

A.M. 180 Gallery

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