Prague’s Galerie Rudolfinum has officially opened one of its most ambitious projects to date: the exhibition Decadence Now! Visions of Excess, looking at the use of decadence in contemporary art. The show – featuring work by such artists as Cindy Sherman, Joel-Peter Witkin and the late Robert Mapplethorpe – will shock some but enthuse others, and in all cases draw a strong response.
How do you imagine the soundtrack to an exhibition called ‘Decadence’ would sound? Czech musicians Monika Načeva and David Cajthaml were asked to create just that – a piece of modern music to accompany an exhibit dedicated to the excesses of the fin de siecle. So what did they do? They produced an 18-minute reworking of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘la decadanse’. The vinyl was launched in Prague on Tuesday, Rosie Johnston was there:
Prague's Obecni Dum (Municipal House) is one of the Czech Republic's greatest Art Nouveau jewels. Now, however, it is home to an exhibition of a different but related art movement - decadent art. The extensive show's full title is "In Morbid Colours: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Czech Lands 1880 - 1914".
"In Morbid Colours: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Czech Lands, 1880 to 1914", is the title of a major new exhibition which has just opened at Prague's Obecni Dum (Municipal House). The show is divided into four different sections with dramatic titles like Satanic Hallucinations and Purgatory of Death. But what exactly is "decadent art"? That's a question I put to the exhibition's curator, Otto M. Urban.