Exhibition and Screenings, Ljubljana

The Moral Reform


In June 2012, during the 40th Congress of the Czech parliament, 585 text messages were sent to different politicians. The politicians from various political parties were unknowingly “sending” SMS messages to one another about the need for a mysterious “Moral Reform” and apologizing to each other. The messages called for better behavior, political decency and negotiation with less emphasis on grudges and prejudice.

A typical message went something like this: President of Republic, Prof. Ing. Vaclav Klaus, CSc., is sending an SMS to JUDr. Vojtûch Filip, head of the Communist party of Czech and Moravia:

“Your history, as well as mine, is full of acts of shame. Please, accept my invitation to today’s urgent meeting on Moral Reform.”

The happening’s success was further amplified by the fact that the Parliament meeting was live broadcast in the Czech national TV. So, during the first tens of minutes, television audience looked at targeted deputies staring on their cells, twisting heads, searching for the authors of messages in order to confirm the sender.
The performance – probably the first ever artistic performance taking place in the local parliament house – was later claimed by the famous Czech art movement Ztohoven, that published all the messages and the related information (who sent what to whom) on a specially designed webpage; and it was made technically possible by an hack into a mobile phone SMS gate.

According to Neural Magazine,

“The Ztohoven Parliament puppet show explored the notion of alternative futures being influenced by some unknown moral force. Revealing a new form of activist and “revolutionary” art, which is subversively opportunistic rather than openly confrontational. It uses extreme moral and religious discourse rather than critique, reflection or visions. It “reforms” reality by generating unexpected events that are closer to quantum physics and chaos theory experiments with butterfly wings than just simple provocations.”

The action blurred the distinction between real time TV coverage, theater and political performance and its impressive effects can be partly attributed to the fact that it leaves a lot of room for individual interpretation. Art is turning politics into a type of liminal experience with parallel and alternative universes and futures, almost extra-terrestrial interventions that resemble a TV show like Fringe.

Credits and more information about this event HERE.

30 March – 15 April 2016
Aksioma | Project Space

Curated by Aksioma