Thank you for ruling us

Essay Thank you for ruling us, essay, from “Come Closer: The Biennale Reader”,, 2020, photo: author’s archive

In the early 1990s, my generation witnessed first-hand the radical social and economic changes associated with the collapse of state socialism. Most of us were entering an age when young people begin to form their own views of the world. The earlier social norms were rejected, and new ones were still being formed. All of a sudden, we didn’t know what was right and what wasn’t.

In the nineties, we became stuck in a blind faith in individual personal initiative and in the individual’s ability to subjugate the world around him by force of will and hard work alone. For a whole decade, we were exposed to this toxic and masculine view of the world in which any form of social criticism was seen as weak and backwards. In the world of art, the main symbol of this approach was Milan Knížák.

In the end, we were saved by the gradual change in social attitudes at the start of the last decade, which... 

You can find the full essay in the “Come Closer” reader. The Czech edition can be purchased at the ArtMap online bookstore, while the English edition is available at the Sternberg Press online bookstore.