“Art is about sharing and connecting, not creating our own individual landfills. We recycle ideas, themes, and visions, and I think we should treat physical materials the same way."
New York has Materials for the Arts, Leeds has the Centre of Creative Reuse, and since summer 2021 Prague has had art re use. The project was born out of an urgent demand from the gallery and art sector. We are simultaneously addressing two long-standing problems: insufficient materials for creating art and the lack of a place to store currently unneeded materials from projects that have finished.
The goal of this joint project between ArtMap and Skutek is to create a central point of communication for the recycling and redistribution of used exhibition and art materials in order to give them a second life.
The key benefit of the project is to merge the efforts of individuals and institutions working towards a responsible approach to material resources. In addition to providing materials for creative and exhibition activities, it also serves a far from insignificant ecological and educational function.
art re use offers artists, galleries, theatres, students, non-profits, and public benefit projects the materials and tools to create, including the added “know-how” of support and inspiration.
We offer creative materials free of charge. The only condition is that the donated materials be returned to use in the cultural sphere. Our services are directed primarily toward galleries, theatres, and artists as well as non-profit or public benefit projects. On the materials page, you can browse through and reserve currently available materials, and we will then call to arrange a time for pick-up.
At the same time, we provide cultural institutions, companies, and art schools with assistance in the meaningful redistribution of used and currently unneeded materials that they can no longer store themselves.
We’ll help with recycling materials. Has your exhibition, installation, film shoot, or performance concluded? Or are you simply cleaning out your warehouse? Call us to arrange a time to drop off unwanted materials. We’ll then redistribute the materials for further use in cultural productions and document their subsequent use on the realizations page.
Since June 2021, we have at our disposal the building of a former auto repair shop, which was provided by the Prague 3 municipality for a discounted lease, and we are now building a network of warehouses throughout the Czech Republic. In the two years of operation since the official opening of the art re use warehouse on 21 September 2021, we have distributed over a thousand items, totaling more than 50 metric tons of materials.
Both supply and demand have been incredible from the outset. The original pool of users from the gallery field has been substantially expanded to include film productions, the theatre scene, and also the first commercial entities. What we don’t recycle to galleries and theatres goes to art schools and public benefit projects.
The art re use warehouse of art materials for the taking is the joint project of:
ArtMap is a regularly updated directory for contemporary art and the operator of the art re use warehouse.
Artmap, z. s.
Vojtěšská 196/18, 110 00 Prague 1
ID no.: 22906339, Tax ID no.: CZ22906339
In addition to originating the idea for the art re use warehouse, Skutek operates the successful ongoing FaceBook group for professionals “Umělecký materiál za odvoz” (Art Materials for the Taking) – a kind of virtual matrix for this project. From the group’s program statement: “We build on mutual self-help within the art community as well as social solidarity. We believe that we must be the ones to identify our problems and then advocate for solutions in public debate. We must create our own tools to improve the working, living, and creative conditions of those working in the field of visual art and in its immediate vicinity.”