Book launch: “Come Closer: The Biennale Reader”


We’d like to invite you to the presentation of the reader at the ArtMap Bookstore (Vojtěšská 18, Prague 1) on 2 July 2020 at 6 pm when the book will be available in store with an introductory discount. Details on the event in Englisch and Czech are available at the Facebook event.

Come Closer: The Biennale Reader, published on the occasion of the inaugural biennale Matter of Art in Prague, considers the present via counter-hegemonic readings of the past. The book explores various perspectives of class, race, and gender differences in post-socialist states, past and present. In societies today that can seem fragmented, alienated, and sealed-off, a feeling of “us” and “them” can potentially emerge. The reliance on a common language to bring people closer often does the opposite, leading to feelings of contempt, anxiety, and fear. By drawing attention to themes of intimacy, care, and empathy, the contributions in this book search for new types of communication that can bring people together. Like language, art can be used to mediate these differences, and to examine issues relating to how people coexist in society.

Come Closer: The Biennale Reader
Editors: Tereza Stejskalová, Vít Havránek
Published by:
Design: Laura Pappa
Distribution: Sternberg Press / ArtMap, Kosmas
14 × 21 cm, 296 pages, paperback
Available from 22 June 2020

Vít Havránek, Tereza Stejskalová,

Featured authors
Jérôme Bazin, Heather Berg, Pavel Berky, Anna Daučíková, Patrick D. Flores, Isabela Grosseová, Vít Havránek, Marie Iljašenko, Rado Ištok, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Eva Koťátková, Kateřina Lišková, Ewa Majewska, Tuan Mami, Alice Nikitinová, Alma Lily Rayner, Sarah Sharma, Jirka Skála, Adéla Souralová, Edita Stejskalová, Tereza Stejskalová, Matěj Spurný, Ovidiu Tichindeleanu, Simone Wille

Veronika Janatková

Come Closer: The Biennale Reader comprises republished texts as well as newly commissioned contributions from both emerging and established artists, social and political scientists, and art historians from Eastern Europe, Asia, and the United States.

The first edition of the biennale Matter of Art will be held in Prague, Czech Republic and seek a new language and new possibilities for “improbable meetings”. It will take place at Prague City Gallery, Prague Market and other venues.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.