• 9/2 – 22/9/2024
  • Curated by Otto M. Urban, Leoš Válka, Michaela Šilpochová
  • DOX
  • Prague, CZ
Prague-born Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is one of the key authors of 20th-century world culture. His novels, stories, and correspondence have been translated into dozens of languages, his work and life have become the subject of numerous monographs and expert studies. Kafka’s literary work has not only influenced other writers but gradually affected many different areas of culture, such as film, music and visual arts.

The exhibition KAFKAESQUE focuses on reflections on Kafka’s work and poetics in contemporary visual art offering not a historical perspective of his work, but a view that reflects our present-day situation with all its complexities and ambiguities. Works by more than thirty internationally acclaimed artists show that Kafka’s work with its references to existential fears and personal anxieties is highly relevant for our times.

For decades, attempts to understand Kafka’s literary work and life have posed a great intellectual and often even emotional challenge to both scholars and readers and have been subject to a multitude of interpretations. The aim of this exhibition is not to build new monuments that repeat old clichés, but to reflect Kafka’s work through the perspective of the contemporary world, which is at a turning point where the old is no more and the new has not yet been born. 

The exhibition KAFKAESQUE, held in Franz Kafka’s native city of Prague on the centenary of his death, will present works by internationally acclaimed artists for whom the works of Franz Kafka remain an inspiration. The exhibition will be accompanied by numerous events including literary readings, film projections, concerts, etc.

Some of the most important parts of Kafka’s works read as if they were literal descriptions of expressionist paintings that should really be painted.

Theodor W. Adorno
Josef Bolf, Brothers Quay, Pavel Büchler, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Vladimír Doležal, Rowynn Dumont, Martin Gerboc, Douglas Gordon, Matouš Háša, Gottfried Helnwein, Siegfried Herz, Magdalena Jetelová, David Lynch, Volker März, Stefan Milkov, Jan van Oost, Wolfgang Pavlik, Viktor Pivovarov, Nil & Karin Romano, Jaroslav Róna, Nicola Samori, Marek Schovánek, Jakub Špaňhel, Jan Švankmajer, Johan Tahon, Mark Ther, Alexander Tinei, Maciej Toporowicz, Liu Xia
Something Surreal: The Far Away Worlds of Yesterday and Tomorrow