This month marks what has become Prague’s largest cultural event: SIGNAL Festival. The festival alters Prague’s already awe-inspiring architecture into art, “reviving both well-known and hidden places of Prague” by turning urban spaces into fantastical light shows.
Returning for its sixth year, the festival brings together international and local audiovisual artists to dazzle festival-goers with “all things light,” from large-scale video-mapping onto historic structures, to light sculptures and installations, to 3-D exhibits, performances, and more.
This year SIGNAL is bigger than ever, with 24 installations found not only in the historic center and trendy Vinohrady, but also in the up-and-coming neighborhood Karlín. The festival opens at Karlínské náměstí, where viewers can find “Future Ruins,” an installation by French artist Romain Tardy who co-founded the visual label ANTIVJ. This “site-specific installation combines a digital projection on the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius with twelve light statues” whose shapes mirror that of the architectural components of the church.
“For the first time this year, the festival has chosen a common topic, which is a reaction to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic,” explains program coordinator Matěj Vlašánek. “However, rather than focusing on the past century, the festival is concerned with the next 100 years.”
Various installations in Old Town explore this theme by playing with the idea of how an individual interacts with and contributes to a crowd and how a crowd is made up of unique individuals. Famous Czech artist Ivan Kafka highlights this relationship using reflections from strategically placed traffic cones in his installation, “About being in a herd,” while Tomáš Dymeš takes an interactive approach with participants creating lines of light through touch.
The Vinohrady route includes large-scale video-mapping on the Church of St. Ludmila in Náměstí Míru. The German creative label Ruestungsschmie.de “utilize individual architectonical elements to tell the story of past, present and future” in an impressive and mind-boggling installation displayed right on the front of the historic church.
“This year, 21 out of 24 installations are created thanks to the financial support from Signal, in the 6 years of the festival it adds up to around 100 artistic installations,” says festival director Martin Pošta. “This makes Signal one of the most important producers of new art in the Czech Republic.”
While the outdoor sections of SIGNAL remain free, we recommend purchasing a handy map for the best routes and the guarantee you don’t miss any locations. You can also purchase the SIGNAL Festival App which includes maps and information on all the installations. Visit signalfestival.com for tickets to the gallery zone.
SIGNAL Festival takes place October 11-14, running from 7-11pm each night. The opening ceremony takes place at Karlinské náměstí in Karlín.
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