Artists in lockdown Q&A: Krištof Kintera

Over the past year we have learned to organize our daily life in a different way. A lot has changed for artists too: there were no – or fewer – opportunities to exhibit work, while a lot of time was spent in the studio. How do artists shape the changing world? In the Artist in lockdown-series, we’ll talk to our artists about their experiences during the pandemic. Today’s Q&A with: Krištof Kintera.

“I am a fan of the analog world…. Imagine lockdown without these technologies… Perhaps we would not be that locked?”

How has life been during lockdown? Has it been a time of solitude or has it brought you and your family closer together?
Somehow, I am trying to avoid the impact of the situation. Successfully and luckily, I must say! I am observing what is going on, but main thing is to keep going and try to ignore it a bit and that’s what I basically do, working with my great companions. I feel privileged to do so, not everyone is able to ignore it. My family is healthy (passing only normal, not trendy at the moment, surgeries:):)…

Did the lockdown alter your vision of the world?
Yeah, I am always surprised how reality is very often far ahead of fantasies or prognosis. If I would be telling you a year ago how will world look like in a year, you would not believe me, wouldn’t you? Me neither.

How did the lockdown affect your art practice?
To my surprise not much…True is that some of large-scale projects and exhibitions were postponed, stopped, delayed…all that what is happing all around. In fact, it is pretty interesting sometimes… Like for instance we have managed to realize pretty big one man-show at IKON gallery in Birmingham during fall. All done without my presence, installing through what’s up, meet, e-mail and all those channels…and all done by a great team at IKON gallery.


Could you tell me more about one specific work you created during lockdown?
Ouu that is pretty difficult to describe because we have a pretty wide spectrum of activities in my studio…Recently we have started to work also on a large scale and long term projects like sculptural and urban environment connected to a project of a new bridge in Prague, new site of Botanical Garden in Prague and also 7m tall sculpture of Praying Wood for a public space and also group of concrete sculptures working with a theme of brutalist architecture of the 60-80ties in Czech Republic. Apart of this I was doing my drawings and sculptures…You know, workaholism is an untreatable sickness.

What do you think about the surge of online activities during lockdown? Besides negative experiences, like being unable to see art in real life, were there any positive experiences? Is there a specific initiative that inspired you?
I am a fan of the analog world…. Imagine lockdown without these technologies… Perhaps we would not be that locked?

What will 2021 bring us?
Release…, I hope.



ABOUT Krištof Kintera

Krištof Kintera (1973) is a Czech artist exploring the boundaries of contemporary sculpture. Kintera’s practice unfolds from public installations to small kinetic devices. What makes his work special is that he despite this obvious catchiness; he is able to make sharp, often intuitive decisions that produce a far more multi-layered experience. This results in poetic images and an ambiguity, notably in his sculptures, in their engagement with main topics of our times.

The artist oeuvre is rooted in the ‘after the wall’ period of the 90’s, a decade of wild capitalisation in Central and Eastern Europe accompanied by aggressive advertising campaigns in the public space. In this period Kintera produced his now famous Appliances series. These beautiful products, sculptures slickly enclosed in commercial packaging have no other goal than to seduce you. These absurd household appliances clearly illustrate the artist’s ability to create sculptures that are iconic works by engaging with the materiality of objects and with issues of ecology and consumption.

After his residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (NL) Kintera’s work has become increasingly communicative and energized; producing pieces that talk, smoke, move, bang and buzz. Simultaneously a shift has taken place in his choice of materials. The materials of his sculptures maintain their physical presence and identity while now being penetrated by other objects.

In Kintera’s world, fragile trees move nervously, affected by the global issues of our time. He avoids this through playful, creative and direct communication with the audience, as well as paradoxical and ambiguous elements in the work.