Czech art show in mock gym challenges escapist attitudes

PRAGUE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A Prague gallery wants to challenge the belief that the gym is the place to go to tune out of life's problems.

At the "Hard Times" gym exhibition in the Dox Gallery, visitors can exercise but as they do art installations confront them with some of the world's most troubling issues and allow them to vent their frustrations.

In the installation "My Love Answer Me" by Israeli artist Elinor Milchan, treadmills face a large projection of footage from places prior to terror attacks, including the 2013 Boston marathon, when two bombs killed three people and injured more than 260.

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Interactive art installation called 'Welcome in Hard Times'
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Interactive art installation called 'Welcome in Hard Times'
A visitor looks at punching bags with images depicting well-known political figures, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
A visitor hits a punching bag with an image depicting U.S. President Donald Trump, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
A visitor hits a punching bag with an image depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other well-known political figures, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
Visitors hit punching bags with images depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and other well-known political figures, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
A visitor looks at punching bags with images depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and other well-known political figures, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
A visitor hits a punching bag with an image depicting U.S. President Donald Trump among other well-known political figures, as part of an interactive installation called "Welcome in Hard Times", that allows visitors to release their anger and frustrations on the bags, in Prague, Czech Republic, December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny
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Nearby, a sculpture is made of tiers of water bottles bearing the names of diseases faced by those with no access to clean water such as typhus, diphtheria and hepatitis.

In "Left or Right," an exhibit by Cuban-American artist Antuan Rodriguez, visitors can thump large punch bags bearing the images of world leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Visitors will have the opportunity to sweat out their obliviousness and train their conscience," curator Erik Kessels said. "After the workout they will feel invigorated, informed and perhaps even a little more aware of what is going on in the world."

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Alexandra Hudson)

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