Jiří Příhoda (1966) divides his time between Prague and Texas. He belongs to the generation of artists who belonged to the Czech visual art scene in the years immediately following the Velvet Revolution in 1989. He creates spatial installations and interventions in architecture, and in his video-projections he uses post-production footage of famous Hollywood movies. He is one of the personalities with a broad cultural overview and the ability to address international audiences.
Between 1992–1997 Jiří Příhoda made several monumental space installations that gradually lost the character of sculptural objects (23rd October 1993, 1993–1994) to become emotionally appealing settings inspired by film or by the possibilities of moulding human perception (Take/Clapper 02, Flood, 1995–1996, Light at the End of the Tunnel, 1996–1997). Příhoda’s site-specific installations constitute an independent chapter in his work; they react to the given architectural space and make use of its various qualities. The exterior and interior of the Libeň synagogue faced each other in the installation 3274.8 Cubic Metres. In 1998 he and Brian Eno worked together to make a sound-space installation Music for Prague in the Nová síň Gallery; it featured a tempting, but at the same time unattainable space in the centre of the exhibition hall. In the same year, he remodelled the interior of Václav Špála Gallery according to pre-selected floor-plan reductions, making a piece of conceptual architecture, unique in Czechia.
Jiří Příhoda began working with video images in 1994. He uses other artists’ materials exclusively, manipulates them in different ways and projects them in specific spatial settings that he had prepared beforehand (This Is the End/Long-distance Call III, 1996). Taking Star Wars by George Lucas, he projected a vertical strip with a quarter of the image – mostly one with no action – because that is the maximum segment that can be used without infringing the copyright (1997–1998). He screened Herzog’s film Nosferatu on two mirror-reflections side by side; because of the “vampire” tradition according to which a vampire is not visible in a mirror, he had been digitally retouched out of the film.
Recently, Příhoda has opened several outstanding artist’s shows, such as a joint one with Anna Hulačová at Hunt Kastner Gallery in 2015, where he transfigured the exhibition room interior in dialogue with the object work of his student. His monographic presentation at the Prague City Gallery – Troja Chateau, opened in March 2016 and allowing viewers to see a number of his monumental installations from previous years, is equally remarkable.
For the House of Arts Příhoda has created a new habitable structure, a so-called gPod. A special place, further developing his series of installations standing on the borderline between experimental sculpture and architecture.
Jiří Příhoda is also a graphic and exhibition designer; he is the author of innovative designs of group and historic exhibitions (such as Actual Infinity, Prague City Gallery, 2000, or Dalibor Chatrný, Prague City Gallery and the Brno House of Arts, 2015). Between 2005–2014 he was the head of the Sculpture Studio and the Intermedia II Studio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.