Since its establishment (2014), PLATO has prepared an annual December installation called the Artist’s Christmas Tree. This year’s tree, on display in the former Bauhaus hobbymarket, was created by the Text Form Function graphic design department of the Faculty of Art, Ostrava university.
Project: The Text Form Function graphic design department of the Faculty of Art, Ostrava university
Concept: Kateřina Baránková and Kristýna Pavlíková
In collaboration with: Tereza Boturová and Matěj Doležel
Department heads: Filip Nerad and Jiří Havlíček
With only slight exaggeration, PLATO and its visitors can be viewed as a distinctive type of an extended family. It is held together by shared interests and blending perspectives through which the “family” members see and change the world. We usually associate the Christmas tradition with the possibility of a certain confirmation of closeness and solidarity. The Christmas tree that we are preparing for the fourth time can be thus viewed as a symbol of community, and its lighting as an opportunity for a family get-together.
As a public institution, PLATO wants its family to be as large as possible, and we are trying to address, with this clear gesture, even those who do not know that art and artworks can enter their lives without having to be afraid of it.
In previous years, the public encountered the Christmas tree in the Trojhalí hall where it was respectively prepared by Šárka Mikesková, Elli Tiliu Motýlová and Katarína Szányi, three artists living in Ostrava. This year, for the first time, we will use for this festive occasion the building of the former Bauhaus hobbymarket. And we will step out of a sheltered public space.
Christmas is, or should be, mainly an intimate affair, despite all our consumer habits. We try to express this maxim in our annual Christmas tree project by approaching artists with links to the place where PLATO operates. This year we thus invited for collaboration the students from the Text Form Function department of the Faculty of Art, Ostrava university. We chose from their designs the one that very simply, and at the same time very clearly, captures the two basic principles of the assignment: to be a variation on the Christmas tree theme, and to highlight the building to which PLATO is going to move in spring 2018.
The Text Form Function is a department of contemporary graphic design. It is a space for the encounters of students, artists, theorists, architects and designers, with emphasis on a creative dialogue. The students acquire interdisciplinary information which they modify to their needs. Conceptual thinking, aesthetic feeling and art practice. Graphic design in a broader context. The activities of the Text Form Function department include interactive videoinstallations at the Bratislava Design Week 2015, a series of projects responding to the refugee crisis, a graduates’ exhibition in the former Erotic City shop, alternative footage of the documentary film Hypernormalization, the Industrial Espionage catalogue of conceptual pottery, and a book mapping Dr. Milada Horáková Park as a resting place for both the living and the dead. A paperback entitled Oasis containing interviews with the protagonists of Ostrava’s independent music scene was awarded the Most Beautiful Book of 2016 prize for the best student work. The department is headed by Filip Nerad and Jiří Havlíček.