Laura Aldridge

PHYSICAL CULTURE: Raise your vibration and stick this up where it will do some good 

Large format print 

Břetislav Bakala Hall, Žerotínovo náměstí 533/6

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The Scottish artist Laura Aldridge operates in a broad range of media from photography to textiles, ceramics and glass, incorporating them in a collage manner in her sculptural, often monumental depiction – presentation, physical experience with material – virtuality of contemporary mass reproduction technologies. Her installation is located on the building of the so-called White House on Žerotínovo Square, built in the mid-1970s after the design of the Brno architect Miroslav Spurný, carrying Le Corbusierian tradition, and the architect František Jakubec as the seat of the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The building has recently been the subject of speculations and there were even rumours of its demolition. Since 1989, it has served both cultural and medical purposes.

Laura Aldridge has chosen this historically exposed place (the first Czech theatre in Brno used to be there in the 19th century, among others) to highlight its importance in the city’s structure and to emphasize the qualities of Spurný’s work, which is, unfortunately, in bad repair and whose future is unclear. Her choice resonates with the premise of Brno Art Open2019, which is “the story of the sculpture by Sylva Lacinová being removed from the building of the former Associated Research Institutes during the 2012 reconstruction”. She used a concise form, wrapping the Le Corbusierian convex curvature of the White House façade in a leopard-skin patterned fabric employing the language of the visual pollution of the “urban jungle”, but in a second sense also the theme of “endangered species” – the wild beasts that find themselves on the verge of extinction due to commodification on Asian markets. The list of endangered species includes the White House, and more generally, the architecture and art of the socialist era, as demonstrated by multiple recent affairs that have generated public outcry but failed to get and adequate reaction from the responsible institutions and legislators.