Markéta Mráčková and Barbora Šimonová met at Emil Přikryl’s School of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. They have been working as a creative duo since 2013. They founded the cultural cooperative cosa.cz in 2016 to join together their diverse activities – architecture, visual arts, literature and video. The reason why the cultural cooperative cosa.cz was founded was that its creators wanted to offer an alternative to the system of independent architectural tradesmen. It represents a profit-making organisation based on the principles of economic democracy: all those who are affected by the consequences of a particular decision are at the same time the decision-makers. There are three participants in the cultural cooperative and they would like to expand in the future and inspire the foundation of further similar organisations.
In architecture they use methods like “we cannot form circling pathways” (a study of the revitalisation of the Jiří z Lobkovic Square), or “let it be cheap and full of colours” (a reconstruction of the soccer stadium stand in Olomouc-Řepčín), “let’s hope at least the big window will remain in the realisation” (the study of the entrance to the building of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University), “Koolhaas-like dividing walls” (Urban Café), Brandlhuber’s new hole (Biofilms New Rental), “flowers can’t do any harm” (a study of garden arrangements at the street Ve Stínadlech), “a study that no one has commissioned” (rebuilding a stairway from Husitská street by the house no. 37, Řehořova street), or “build it yourselves, it will come out better” (reconstruction of a house in Bořitov).
Besides designing, they are doing much more. They enjoy writing short, sometimes absurd illustrated stories in which they mix reality with fiction and hope that others will have fun too. Their song “Bude to bílý, černý nebo maximálně šedý” (It Will Be White, Black or at Most Gray), composed of snippets of work emails and their friends’ stories, represents a follow-up of various manifestos. At the end of 2016, they shot portraits of three buildings from the 1980s: Pavilions in Mariánské Lázně and Prague (architect Michal Brix), The House of Culture and Colonnade in Teplice (architects Karel Hubáček, Otakar Binar, Michal Brix, Martin Rajniš, Lidmila Švarcová), and Artificial Rowing Canal Račice (architectural group LO-TECH). Four new episodes have been planned for 2018 that will be presented on cosa.tv. In 2014 they published the book “Legenda o sídlišti” (The Legend of the Prefab Estate), in 2016, cosa.cz published the translation of the stories by Gottfried Müller “Melancholie a dobrodružnost stavění: 25 zapomenutých staveb” (Melancholy and Adventure of Construction: 25 Forgotten Buildings).
The exhibition will comprise of three evening shows:
9 May, 7 PM Outsiders
The mini-drama “Outsiders” about the topics, projects and activities of the creative duo Šimonová – Mráčková.
22 May, 7 PM Cooperative Movement
The second night will focus on the history and principles of the coop movement and the foundation of the first cultural cooperative in the Czech Republic in a long period of time.
5 June, 7 PM False or Post-truth
The third night will introduce their working experiences using a form of creative ways of dealing with facts.
Concept: Markéta Mráčková, Barbora Šimonová
Graphic design and installation: Viktor Vejvoda