REALITY CZECH: The Czech Avant-Garde Now

Whitechapel Art Gallery

14 NOVEMBER 2015 2-6pm

Tickets from £11.50 / £9.50 (consc.) – book here

What was the Czech film avant-garde and what are its current reincarnations? We start with Libor Nemeškal’s documentary film that looks into the specifics of Czech independent film-making in 1920-30’s and its poetic, highly photographic and experimental character. Followed by the original avant-garde films by filmmakers such as Sasha Hammid, Martin Frič, Karel Dodal and Čeněk Zahradníček, and contemporary works by Zbyněk Baladrán, Veronika Vlková & Jan Šrámek, Ján Mančuška, Tereza Bušková and Vladimír Houdek. With poetry reading by Stephen Watts.

Curated by Michaela Freeman.

Organised by Czech Centre London in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery Part of Made in Prague, 3 – 29 November 2015. http://www.czechcentre.org.uk/

Tickets from £11.50 / £9.50 (consc.)

Online booking: https://www.myonlinebooking.co.uk/whitechapel/sessions.aspx?tid=153


Libor Nemeškal, The Czech Film Avant-garde, 2015, 61min

A documentary film that looks into the specifics and conditions of Czech independent film-making in 1920’s and 1930’s. It highlights the poetic, highly photographic, unusual and experimental character of the works made at the time and also the artists’ symbiotic and significant connection to the world of advertising at the film studios of Bata shoe-making empire in Zlín.


Alexander Hackenschmied, a.k.a. Sasha Hammid, Aimless Walk, 1930, 7min

Martin Frič, Black-and-White Rhapsody, 1936, 3min

Karel Dodal, Ideas in Search of Light, 1938, 10min

Karel Dodal, Fantasie erotique / The Play of Bubbles, 1936, 2min

Alexander Hackenschmied, a.k.a. Sasha Hammid, At Prague Castle, 1932, 11min

Čeněk Zahradníček, The Hands on Tuesday, 1935, 13min

THE CZECH AVANT-GARDE NOW: a selection of short films made by contemporary artists that share the avant-garde aesthetics and concepts:

Zbyněk Baladrán

Dead Reckoning, 2014, 12m

A robotic (alternating male and female) voice soundtrack accompanies a split screen with different, observational perspectives and a hypnotising rotating selection of objects, suggesting the methods and tools of human survival. ‘Dead reckoning’ is a term describing a method of calculating one’s position, based on previous data – inevitably often incorrect.

Veronika Vlková & Jan Šrámek

Spell of forgetfulness, 5min 54sec

An animated film of a calm, vast and scarcely populated landscape, inspired by the life and work of the conceptual German artist Joseph Beyus, film director Andrei Tarkovski, as well as the historical and political situation in Ukraine and the Baltic countries.

Ján Mančuška

Invisible, 2009, 19min 18 sec

Drawn entirely by biro, Invisible is a minimalist blue-white diary of personal loneliness, love and social phobia, which was realised by the artist as a site-specific art piece installed in landscape (a private land of the collector). Courtesy Ján Mančuška Estate, Andre Kreps Gallery, New York, Meyer Riegger, Berlin/Karlsruhe

Tereza Bušková

Baked Woman of Doubice, 8min 53sec

Set in the village of Doubice, inspired by Czech folk traditions and shot with a convincing documentary style, Baked Woman of Doubice depicts a slow-paced, women only, fictitious baking ritual. Women unite and together kneed dough which is then baked and transformed into a ‘baked woman’ symbolising sisterhood, fertility, motherhood and the cycle of life in general.

Vladimír Houdek

The Trickling Expanse, 2014, 18min 4sec

A film collage consisting of painting and dance that seeks a correspondence between pictorial and body language. Based on the artist’s poem of the same title, The Trickling Expanse was made as a collaboration with choreographer Hana Turečková, with a soundtrack from a symphonic poem by Arnold Schönberg.

Part of Made in Prague Film Festival, 3 – 29 November 2015

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