Bright lights, various colors and breathtaking installations; Prague will once again change its skin for four days in October. Unusual changes will happen due to the Signal Festival which will take place for the fourth time in its history this year. Signal Festival is the biggest cultural event in the Czech Republic that combines modern art and new technology, and brings this mix to Prague’s streets and squares.
Signal Festival is unique in presenting Prague’s historical places and old squares in a new, surprising way. Many say that the city looks like a fairy tale, with its castle and narrow medieval streets. However, with all these neon lights, bright big screens and modern technology installations, Signal Festival plugs the fairy tale in and gives it an electric glow.
Signal Festival gathers crowds of both Czech citizens and tourists. Last year, according to the organizers of the event, an estimated 400,000 spectators saw the colorful displays of the festival, and the curators hope that this year people’s interest will be even higher. New installations prepared by different artists from all over the world will certainly attract the attention of every passer.
This year, viewers will have a chance to see 20 new installations by 11 creators from different countries and different parts of the world. For example, when passing by the Palladium Shopping Mall, one will have an opportunity to see the work of a Japanese artist, Chida Yasuhiro. The installation is called Brocken 5.1., and the idea is derived from the Brocken Spectre phenomenon, also known as mountain spectre. The viewers will have a unique chance to experience the same feelings as climbers do when they are high in the mountains and see their shadows projected with a rainbow glow.
The audience will also be able to come closer to the sky by going to the Akademie věd ČR (The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) and seeing the Event Horizon installation prepared by Dávid Sivý. This art object presents visitors with a bridge passing through a tunnel of lights, and when going over the bridge, they will feel their senses sharpen and their perceptions of the space change. Thus, surrounded by a rainbow and flying through the stars, the viewers will have an opportunity to discover space in the framework of the festival.
Another thing to do during the Signal Festival is to go to the Jiřího z Poděbrad metro station and explore the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, or dive into the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Teemu Määttänen, an artist from Finland found inspiration in water waves and is willing to present them in an extraordinary installation.
Then, walking through the streets of Prague, visitors should not become alarmed if they meet giant humanoids sitting on the ground and looking at them. These figures are the installations prepared by the Australian artist Amanda Parer. The city will be “occupied” by five of them, as if aliens had arrived from another planet and were investigating Prague. Parer found an inspiration for this installation while watching the French-Czechoslovak movie Divoká planeta (Fantastic Planet), which was created in 1973. The action takes place in the distant future on another planet where humans are kept as pets by giant blue humanoids called Draags. Thus, by putting five humanoids on the streets of Prague, Parer wants to show the role of humanity in the world of nature.
The abovementioned installations are just a tiny part of the festival’s magic; many more of them have been prepared and are ready to fill Prague with light and present it in a new way.
What is also exciting about the festival is that a lot of art objects will be interactive, which means visitors will have a chance not only to look at the installations, but also to actively take part in them. One of the installations which require viewers’ participation is called the Reflection Studies presented by Zachary Lieberman. This project is aimed at determining whether people can paint using light. To find out, Lieberman created a huge light table which should help his scientific research. Another step should be made by the festival visitors, who will have an opportunity to test how the table works and create paintings using light and shadow. With the active participation of the attendees, the table will transform, creating the works of art. Thus, visiting the Reflection Studies installation, viewers will become painters and discover their creative possibilities.
Another aspect of the event which attracts attention is that this year the programs will run not only in the evenings (as it used to be in the previous years), but also during the daytime, which is very convenient for families with little children. Moreover, children shall be especially happy this year, as special children’s programs will be provided at the Signal Dome, located in Prague 1, next to the Památník Okřídleného lva (Winged Lion Memorial).
Signal Festival begins on October 13 at 7 p.m. and lasts until October 16 at midnight. The main installation sites will be Václavské náměstí, Staroměstské náměstí, Karlův most, and Kampa. However, art objects will be displayed in many other places, allowing Prague citizens and guests to stumble upon them on their way back from work or school, and discover the magic world of Signal Festival.
If you want to know more visit the Prague Signal Festival website to find out more details about the event.
Photo courtesy of Signal Festival