Groupe Guma Guar: Collective identity

May 16th – June 15th 2008


press release
Guma Guar's website


During the night from May 29th to 30th somebody yet unknown painted over all six of the exhibited prints with black asphalt paint.
A press statement of the Center for Contemporary Arts regarding this incident can be found under the following link.
pdf Tiskové prohlášení CSU, o.p.s. (in Czech)

Photo Gallery

The society we live in likes to call itself democratic. But is it democratic enough? Isn’t it just a simulation of a democracy? The citizens in democratic countries often resign to their right to decide and confer their fate into the hands of so called specialists. The norm today is to use the techniques of Public Relations to manipulate preferences of consumers and clients, but increasingly also the mindset of the voters, so that their opinions comply with the plans of current government and the ruling entrepreneurs’ elite. In this context we use the term “manufacturing consent” coined by the American journalist Walter Lippman.
The professionals in this field watch closely moods, desires, sympathies and dislikes of citizens and make appropriate steps so that they could suppress the inconvenient views and streamline the public in the “right” direction. It is very problematic considering that this one-sided persuasion is often financed by means of public money. Therefore it could be said that the citizens themselves pay to have their brains brainwashed. If, for instance, exists a demand to build a military base but the majority of citizens disagree, the public money will be used to finance a campaign designed to persuade them to comply with the construction.
Similar situation arose when some politicians decided to organize the Olympic Games in Prague in 2016. The campaign “We Are All Part of the National Team” tried to inspire feelings of national ties and a sense of collective identity. But if we are all truly part of this national team, then this team includes also people like Viktor Kožený and Radovan Krejčíř (two Czech businessmen notoriously connected with organized crime and corruption).
The campaign itself cost at least 4 million CZK, notwithstanding other expenses paid for its regional support, professional analyses, economic studies, monitoring of the press, public opinion polls, and salaries of the personnel involved. Considering all this effort, it is quite absurd that to host the Olympic Games in 2016 is basically out of reach for the city of Prague. Even the mayor Pavel Bém declared this goal as unlikely. Meanwhile in Prague and other Czech cities dozens of billboards advertised a fictitious event – a simulation of the Olympics Games.

Groupe Guma Guar: Kolektivní identita