"Nights are for dancing"
The exhibition deals with the phenomenon of club music as a driver of change in civilization. For over 50 years, since its inception, the music club has been an outreaching experimental space, with every generation constantly redefining the relationship between culture, the body and community.
From avant-garde, stage-based jazz and rock theatres, discothèque temples with crowds of dancers sabbathing below the DJ’s stage, through abandoned warehouses, factories and meadows transformed by nomads in autonomous zones with their own rules, laws and much dreamed-of but temporary autonomy, to mobile apps melting the materiality and geography of our lives and allowing us to step at any moment into the middle of any eclectic dance floor from anywhere in the world, the club has been a constant generator of new transformative energy dissolving into its surroundings. First socially, as a place generating new relationships, finding and developing identities and communities with ensuing emancipation requirements; and economically, in the form of profit, its regulation, the grey and black economy; also urbanistically in the form of gentrification, but ultimately also physically, as a concentration of human bodies, releasing noise, heat and fluids to the immediate surroundings.
This exhibition focuses specifically on the material aspect of club culture, from architecture with its specific requirements; the infrastructure supplying the necessary music equipment and providing for the feeding and excretion of visitors; through cultural artefacts, tribal fetishes, clothing, interventions in the proponents’ own bodies and environment; to the visual form of graphic communication, interior design and the physical human bodies – moving, sweating and touching one another.
The exhibition title refers to the existing Ostrava club of the same name, considered to be one epicentre of local alternative, non-materialistically oriented and excluded culture. At the same time, our use of the title refers to queer culture as the primary, if not the main, creative impulse of the "club" as a safe zone for free expression of one's own identity and sexuality. Last but not least, we also see it as a manifestation of our desire for Fiesta to continue being such a place of freedom of expression.
The exhibition is not a museum show of authentic artefacts, but of contemporary art works. It involves artists who are active on the contemporary club scene, trying to redefine it or working with the overlaps of music and visual arts, as well as those whose work somehow refers to the subject or could serve as its apt illustration. The purpose is to open the "club" with all its associations and to generate a meaningful atmosphere allowing it to be grasped not just as a musical, political or generational, but primarily a social phenomenon.
— Michal Novotný
“Night with a knife in its back / Chem-love is in the air / Chem-love to share” (Lightning glove – Die Die)
In the right setting the sound becomes embedded in a mass intertwined with the space, vibrating with the most powerful sensory perceptions. Intensified emotions, or even an altered state of mind, can be induced by a massive bass drop, and can also be a reaction to sophisticated club architecture or a stimulus provided by a chemical substance. Rhythmic beats trigger a physical desire to create an ideal space without borders; a space with extremely intense sensuality, where vulnerability is an asset. A place where cunt and pussy are expressions of approval, not obscenities. A house in which one can become someone else at any time.
The primary goal of the feared circular mosh pit is to unite in an aggressive experience and then to harm one another with unbridled violence. Likewise, the modern post-club dancefloor provides an opportunity to tease the horizontal arrangement of the society with reigning “realness”. Genuineness is often enforced by extreme aesthetic means (such as throwing the voices of pop celebrities into a dark dungeon with industrial beats) or claims for the so-called youth culture, which must be, however, a state of mind caused by the desire for new stimulation, not a claim to performance and disciplining of bodies worn out by systemic pressures. The taste of true experiencing is always informed by the primary intention of resisting oppression and not submitting to instilled conventions.
Today’s music club can be a fortified playing field where one is armoured against external influences, and everyone can “let their own flag fly”. In today’s art, there is an increasing number of figures and communities using forms of post-club music in their activities, not only as an escape from reality but also as a tool of change and strength. They exploit its ability to exalt the crowd, its versatile communicativeness and absorbing urgency.
Klub Fiesta tries to grasp this situation, restructure it in the form of an exhibition, and also permit entry by those who might otherwise be afraid to step into places where the floor is covered with deposits of feverish illness and the air poisoned by crashing sonic matter.
— Lumír Nykl