Prague art gallery to become the world’s first fully-operational Airbnb “exhibit”

Prague art gallery to become the world’s first fully-operational Airbnb “exhibit”

Prague Galerie NoD, located on Dlouhá street above the Roxy Club, will open a unique exhibit — and social experiment — this week.

From March 5, the art gallery will be transformed into a fully operational private flat furnished by the RAFANI artist collective, and available for rent by the public, either locals or visitors to Prague, through Airbnb.

The project is aimed at contributing to the current public debate about the impact of short-term rentals on the character of residential urban neighborhoods and on the availability of housing to long-time city dwellers.

But is it really the first-ever Airbnb that combines the gallery experience with that of a holiday rental?

“It probably is (one of) the very first projects that for a limited time period will convert a traditional white cube gallery space into real full-fledged apartment leasable on some online platform,” says Galerie NoD art director and the exhibition’s curator, Pavel Kubesa.

While the public will not be able to enter the flat there will be a video art installation adjacent to its entrance, shot inside the apartment, which brings the aesthetics of the flat into the public space.

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The flat’s occupants will receive an unorthodox guide to Prague. The exhibition will incorporate a broad platform for a discussion focused on the overall potential, social consequences, and limitations of the sharing economy at large.

The flat has a separate bedroom with a twin bed, bedside tables, and a wardrobe. The living room is furnished with a sofa and two armchairs. A fully furnished dining room can accommodate four guests. Toilet, bathroom, and kitchenette are accessible from the communal space.

The flat is situated on the same floor as a coffee bar and a small theater hall.

Czech art group Rafani was founded in 2000, and has long been concerned with public space art, the structural concept of exhibitions, as well as with metaphoric possibilities of art conceived as an instrument with the potential to activate local environment and site-specific discourse.

“As an exhibition institution, we strive to create an intellectual environment and base for social criticism and dialogue. We are eagerly awaiting the response it will engender among the general public and the flat’s tenants, but also on the part of Airbnb Czech Republic,” says Kubesa.

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The project will incorporate a broad platform for a discussion focused on the problems of the sharing economy, “platform capitalism”, and gentrification of urban areas, with participation from artists and representative figures from the fields of economy, architecture and urban planning, local government, and mediation web platforms.

The flat can be hired on through the Airbnb site (stays are limited to two nights).

The exhibit will run from March 5 through April 10. For more details visit www.nod.roxy.cz.

Katrina Modrá

A long-time resident of Prague, Katrina Modrá has covered Czech culture, lifestyles, and news for both local and international publications for 15+ years.

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