Gloomy weather fails to deter art enthusiasts

Heavy afternoon showers last night did not shy away a crowd of keen and curious art enthusiasts away from AAU’s reveal night of a statue which has left students and passers-by questioning.

Dean of the School of Journalism at the Anglo-American University Tony Ozuna, alongside sculptor Aleš Novák revealed what this artistic mystery was in front of a crowd of thirty people. 

Whilst onlookers were downing a cold pint in the cool evening weather 35-year old Novák went on to explain that his concrete sculpture was at first an abstract idea and later turned into a neo-classical style mix-up of numerous elements.

“The sculpture is actually part of a series of other sculptures I titled ‘Concerning the instability of the heart and about God as the ultimate goal” he said. 

Novák admitted that it took him just two weeks to complete the sculpture and bring it to the AAU courtyard. However, there were some complications. “We even had a mini Police escort just in front of the building to divert traffic while we were moving the truck into the courtyard”.

When looking at the piece one can see a horse leg sticking out, and what seems to be other animal parts from famous statues around the Golden City. Novák, however, said that the  point of the statue was to be left for personal interpretation. 

“You can see many different components in here, and you can imagine your own picture with this statue.”

Although the piece itself is part of a series with its own title, Professor Ozuna felt it right to give it the name ‘the Statue of Liberty Remixed’. A name that Novák was left quite surprised about. 

The statue is not the first art object appeared at the AAU courtyard. Many other sculptures and art expositions have been held at the AAU’s ‘ART Space’ previously as student paintings and photo exhibitions.

By: Raevenn Breen

More information about the artist in profile

Concerning the instability of the heart and about God as the ultimate goal…

orthe Statute of Liberty remixed

sculpture by Aleš Novák

Aleš Novák is not a political artist, and so it is a bit unfair to give his sculpture in the AAU courtyard a title with strong political connotations. Aleš Novák has recently completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and UMPRUM (both in Prague), where he has been pursuing artistic/sculptural explorations, and pushing boundaries of aesthetics in contemporary sculpture. He is influenced by the neoclassical and monumental sculptures, which one sees everywhere in a city like Prague, and such sculptures are in some ways also similar to one of the grandest monuments in our collective image-database for Freedom—the one and only Statute of Liberty, designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It was built by Gustave Eiffel, unveiled in 1886 and then given to the United States of America from the people of France.

Meanwhile, Aleš Novák had no specific title for the sculpture in our courtyard, but it is part of a group of other recent sculptures of his generally titled “Concerning the instability of the heart and about God as the ultimate goal…” So this work reflects his philosophical, spiritual, even romantic-sensibilities, and thus why should anyone try to rename this work “the Statute of Liberty remixed”? Well, the more obvious reference from Czech neoclassical work is the horse/horse-rider (St. Wencesclaus) on Wenceslaus square by Josef Vaclav Myslbek, unveiled in 1913. This statue represents Independence & Liberty, for Czechs, in a similar way that the Statute of Liberty does for Americans. And in the work of Aleš Novák, here in our courtyard, all or at least some of the parts of these two iconic sculptures can be deciphered in a form of mash-up. Here is another way of looking at it: in the 21st century, the privacy and personal rights, initially of Americans but now everyone around the world have been upended/distorted/maimed depending on how far you want to acknowledge it. The Statue of Liberty should thus be redone/disfigured/remixed to accurately reflect the revised freedoms (we continue to give up quite peacefully) in our contemporary society.