‘Aint no politician will burn these red pants.
Red Gallery is pleased to introduce their latest intervention in public space before the project closes down for good after 8 years of solid cultural community service.
‘Trenky’ by Prague guerrilla group Ztohoven represents a symbol of political populism in our post-democracy era but also a fundamental doubt about the role of a “head of state” in current political systems. The original action took place 3 years ago when the activist group Ztohoven replaced the President's flag with a huge pair of red pants on top of the Prague castle.
Ztohoven released a statement, saying: "Today we hung a banner over the castle for a man who is not ashamed of anything." The group asked whether this was the president’s dirty laundry. Czech president Milos Zeman uses similar populist rhetoric as Donald Trump or Nigel Farage, and is well known for his pro-Russian and pro-China orientation of the Czech Republic that doesn’t necessarily reflect the wish of its citizens.
The Ztohoven art activist were eventually sentenced to suspended jail terms after lengthy and politically motivated legal proceedings.
Recently Zeman, known for his vicious attacks towards journalists calling them 'little idiots', called in a press briefing at the Prague castle and publicly set the art piece of red underpants on fire. It was an explicit reminder of books being burned during the Inquisition when Zeman named his act “auto-da-fé”.
London was a centre of Czech exile government during WW2 and most of the resistance against the Nazi regime came from here. It was an obvious choice to take the Red pants to London to show our greatest support to Czech avantgarde and to global political activism.
The Ztohoven name is a Czech-language pun meaning either “z toho ven” (the way out) or “sto hoven” (the hundred turds).
On June 17, 2007, Ztohoven hacked into one of the cameras used for a live feed from the Krkonoše mountains by Czech Television for the show Panorama and inserted an atomic explosion.
Six Ztohoven members were prosecuted for scaremongering and spreading false information and faced prison sentences of up to three years.
The group also in 2009 used morphing software to make composite photos of members and get state ID cards that resembled more than one person. Members used the cards with names of other people from the group for a year to travel and vote.
Past press: Independent HERE