Properties of Metacontrast – The New Breed

Thomas Zipp

Roman Buxbaum

5. 5. 2017 - 29. 7. 2017

In Zipp’s work for Prague, as usual in his work, performance and installation will be connected. The public performance Properties of Metacontrast will include more parts – first a performative beginning with The New Breed, second a Procession within the area of former ČKD at Vysočany and third the Mass – a performance and party in the main space of our factory at Vysočany. The performance in the unreconstructed space will yield into an installation, which will stay exhibited for few months.

Properties of Metacontrast starts (mentally and physically) from the installation The New Breed that is already in Prague as a part of Tichy Ocean collection. The New Breed (shown at “Made in Germany” exhibition, Sprengel Museum Hannover in 2007) is an installation in the East German fire truck that includes a Cleopatra bust and seven live breeding and egg laying hens. The hens are involuntary actors in the art installation. Being part of a famous and expensive artwork the birds will be well cared for and become somehow a part of the museum staff. Well fed they seem to lead a normal happy life rewarding the artist with a constant production of eggs – a symbol not only for fertility but also a humoresque representation of the ongoing compulsive artistic production. Over this endless cycles of reproduction and egg production Cleopatra’s lifeless eternal head prevails. Cleopatra’s face is covered by a gold painted mask. Cleopatra, the truck and the state of origin of the truck have become history. In contrast to the hens they have stopped functioning. Is a museum only for the dead (things)? The functions live on in myths.





The performers participating in the Procession will have the Cleopatra’s golden mask on their faces which will change into the white masks during the Mass. Maybe they will transform them into some kind of priests carrying out some strange reminding of medieval rituals. Or the masks and costumes might protect their faces from dangers of some scientific experiments or even hide their identity like in a Venetian carnival orgy? Zipp’s usage of the mighty symbols is always underdressed and distorted like in a cartoon. Zipp juggles with the “dark matter” of the elements of The New Breed with such a childly ease that the mystic potential stays hidden at first contact behind a veil of humor. Performance Properties of Metal Contrast - The New Breed is scheduled for May 2016. It will be the first event to introduce the public spaces of the future museum in Vysočany, where the collection of Tichy Ocean will be housed.