Jste Tady (yes-tay tah-de) is both the culmination and record of my experience in Prague, Czech Republic, during Spring 2009. As a city, Prague predates any American city by several centuries. Baroque buildings, churches, castles and cobblestone sidewalks mix with Soviet architecture and public works in one of the most westernized cities in Eastern Europe.
Jste Tady is Czech for "You are Here." To illustrate the process of my adapting to life in this old and historic city, I recorded my everyday movements and developing routine on a portable GPS device I kept on me throughout the 16 weeks I was there.
One of the first Czech words one learns while studying the language is cizinec (sea-za-neats) which translates as "foreigner" in English. As a result of the German and Soviet occupations in the 20th century, the Czech people have become more or less indifferent to outsiders. At the same time, however, they also realize that visitors are necessary to boost their turbulent economy, all of which has led to a strange but accepting relationship between Czechs and non-Czechs.
It was my primary goal to live as much like everyday Prague citizens as I could, to learn its streets, rhythms and customs and try to be seen not as a cizinec, but as an adapted inhabitant of the city.
Jste Tady exists in its current form as a book that showcases maps, drawings, photographs, and writings I created during my time in the city.
Ferencvarosi Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Desotorow Gallery, Savannah, GA
IMADENEW 2010, Purchase, NY