Polylog about ants and bio-art

8. 6. 2022 19:00 – 20:30

House of Arts

Polylog about ants and bio-art

As part of the accompanying programme to Brno Art Open 2022, a discussion focused on the topic of ants will take place in the House of Arts Brno. These animals are the subject of interest of artist, naturalist and participant of this year's Brno Art Open Kuai Shen. He will be joined in the discussion by Klára Bezděčková and Pavel Bezděčka, zoologists at the Museum of Vysočina Jihlava.


Kuai has long been interested in the social behaviour of insects. He used modern technology to carry out audiovisual experiments with ant colonies. To him, they represent natural superorganisms with a specific social structure and organization. They are able to become organized and interconnected into complex units and solve problems together. Kuai Shen explores the parallels and differences between the social behaviour of humans and ants and believes that we can learn from them about creating ecosystems. He lives in Cologne and Melbourne.


Husband and wife Klára and Pavel Bezděčkovi are zoologists. They both work in the Vysočina Museum Jihlava, their main specialization is myrmecology, i.e. the study of ants. Occasionally they lecture at the Faculty of Science in Brno and at the Faculty of Science in Olomouc, as curators for the Czech Republic they are involved in the Antweb project of the California Academy of Sciences, they are authors of a number of scientific and popularization publications. In their spare time they like to explore interesting places at home and abroad, take photographs, Pavel also writes fairy tale books and does computer painting.


Mendel Is… an Artist!
8. 6. - 28. 8. 2022

Artists: Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny (SK/NL), Anna Hulačová (CZ), Kuai Shen (EC/DE), Saša Spačal (SI), Jiří Y. Suchánek (CZ), Uli Westphal (DE)

Curators: Milan Kreuzzieger, Milan Mikuláštík

In 2022, the periodical exhibition of art projects in the public space Brno Art Open (BAO) will be dedicated to the memory of Johann Gregor Mendel, the world-famous Brno scientist, considered to be one of the founders of genetics.

It is a strange, yet in a certain sense typical paradox that in Czech society, Mendel’s fame comes nowhere near a level corresponding to his international significance. The next edition of the BAO festival with an exhibition of artworks in the public space called gGeEnn, with the subtitle Mendel Is… an Artist! wishes to commemorate Johann Gregor Mendel as a complex personality and cover, at least in part, the breadth of his multidisciplinary scientific research including, in addition to plant breeding and crossbreeding, for example beekeeping or meteorological activities, as well as other natural sciences.

The locations for the individual realizations will be selected with regard to the places where Mendel’s historical discoveries took place or were presented (Old Brno Monastery, school in Jánská Street), where small everyday events and activities occurred (Lužánky Park, his parental house in Hynčice), or places pointing out the ambitions of Brno as an active scientific, research and educational centre of international importance.

Two heterogeneous concepts– bio-art and art in public space – will meet in the gGeEnn project to create a distinctive synthesis enabling the visualization of the selected topics attractively and objectively. Bio-art is an artistic direction that radically combines scientific and artistic approaches, manipulates biological (often unstable and dynamically changing) materials and living organisms, leaving much room for experimentation. The connection of artistic and scientific imagination brings a new enriching view of important social phenomena and opens a discussion on the major ethical issues and problems of the present.

The BAO project will include a series of accompanying programmes, events and activities that will include professional and popular lectures, discussions and workshops, guided tours and happenings. Experts in the field of evolutionary biology and genetics, medicine, as well as representatives of philosophy, social sciences and humanities will be addressed.

The gGeEnn exhibition will introduce Gregor Mendel not only as a scientist, but also as a man who, even two hundred years after his birth, can inspire contemporary artists. Young creators respond to the mental turn caused by the global ecological awakening, which makes them think about the power that tends to organize life both at the macro-level of the environment, human communities, and at the micro-level of cells.

The event will be held under the auspices of Mr Martin Baxa, Minister of Culture, and Ms Markéta Vaňková, Mayor of the City of Brno.


House of Arts

Malinovského nám 2