The complex of trivial operations called logistics is wrapped and supported byt the simplest possible architecture. The combination of cheap labour, central geographic location and growth of online shopping has formed fertile ground for the current explosive growth of Czech logistic parks. Their total floor area has doubled in the past three years alone. In proportion to the GDP, Czechia now has almost twice the storage area of Poland and three times more than Hungary and Slovakia.
However, If we are talking about warehouses growing, it is not to say that the cities grow with them. Often, what matters is the distance to the western border rather than the questionable purchasing power of the closest Czech city. For many distribution centres of large companies it is for the most part irrelevant if they are located near Pilsen, Prague or Ostrava. The logistic parks are often built in remote, island-like locations, with no access to public transport and amenities. Thousands of people from all around Czechia as well as from Romania or Ukraine not only work but sometimes also live in such places; in the middle of nowhere, next to the motorway, yet without a car. The logistics landscapes, which we only see as we pass by them on the road, are ‘inhabited’.
Landscape is a medium, both the actual place and its artistic depiction. Both the object of as well as the means of observation, it is the frame and the contains of that frame. It is the means of naturalisation of the political-economic situation of its time. The exhibition opens the subject matter of logistics to new audiences through the lens of landscape, both within and around these quasi-industrial compounds. How do they present themselves to the outside, and what is contained inside? What are they part of and how do they impact their surroundings? A new layer emerges, seamlessly wrapping the old world, to which it must fit and which it transforms. The exhibition ‘Logistics Landscapes’ explores this new layer before it roots as a commonplace into our subconsciousness, alongside the ‘natural’ rows of trees that surround it. It is described with a series of ‘Landscapes’. Six exhibits try to shift the definition of the classic genre so handily representing that which in itself already is a representation.
Photo: Peter Fabo
Press: Karolína Vránková, Krajiny logistiky, Degustace designu, Radio 1, 25 February 2019 (Czech only).
Alžběta Medková, Místo půdy sklady. V Česku je nejvíc skladů ve střední Evropě, změní navždy krajinu a jak?, Spot, Radio Wave, 7 March 2019 (Czech only).
Michaela Pixová, Architektura evropské montovny, Art+Antiques, 2019, no. 3, pp. 83–84 (Czech only).
Anna Remešová, Když si oko navykne dívat se jinam, artalk.cz, 21 March 2019 (Czech only).
Martin Vrba, Efektivismus kapitálu: Výstava o cynismu logistické architektury, advojka.cz, 2019, no. 7, p. 15 (Czech only).