Prague has always attracted large crowds, regardless of the season. Despite its baroque cape-and-sword appeal, the city is also a realm of culture, ideal for discovering new urban trends and a variety of contemporary movements, all well worthy of the city’s popularity with travelers from all over the world. If Prague may seem for many tourists overrated, those who actually get to experience its irrepressible cheeriness reconsider the negative idea.
With SIGNAL, there’s new blood pulsing through Prague’s grand Imperial arteries, a fresh, bold statement of chic, that brings contemporary art on the streets, and embraces it in light, literally. After the success recorded at the first edition in 2013, SIGNAL returns to the Czech capital in mid October, with renewed energy, bringing along more than 30 light art installations by various international artists. What they all have in common is light, and a calling to shape it into unexpected art objects that beautify the city, ever so briefly, before they move to a more permanent home.
Instead of cramming together light objects on enclosed exhibition grounds, SIGNAL transforms the center of Prague into a fairy-tale luminous space, an urban art gallery that enthralls residents and visitors alike, from dusk till dawn.
After the sunset, when the lights of the city turn on, SIGNAL sends out its unexpected calling, and thousands of passers-by are soon to be soaked by the overflow of luminosity that radiates from this splendidly entertaining show of light and art. Landmarks that are usually ignored by tourists radiate with striking beauty, the darker corners of the streets and markets are suddenly embraced by those who run from the shadows…
Language barriers fall, there are no gloomy faces anymore: a child-like awe takes over even somber eyes. It’s not yet Christmas, but it may as well be. Happy children reach to touch the light, and, in their own world, the magic is more intense than what adults can grasp. Couples stroll arm in arm, and their starry eyes are brighter, not only intoxicated with love and lust for each other, but also with shiny stars that dance around, radiating from the magic mise en scène by the alchemists of light and sound.
In 2013, Prague was changed by the likes of Michal Cimala; František Skála; Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett whose “Cloud” is shining bright enough to be seen in Singapore, metaphorically speaking; Jakub Nepraš; Pavla Beranová and Julie Boniche who created the stunning “Papillon in the night;” and many other outstanding light and audio-visual artists. This year, Prague expects some of the public favorites to return with new creations, but it will also welcome new creators, who will make her shine even brighter.
An event of this scale is not reduced to mere objects, regardless how interactive. It keeps on fascinating the visitors with activities that stimulate conversations; concerts that draw the crowds together every night, from the 16th till the 19th of October, at Čertovka; and even light cruises on the Vltava River. Is there a better way to discover Prague at night?
All images courtesy SIGNAL, used with permission. Please do not copy/reproduce.