Reality Czech: the Czech Avant-Garde Now

  • RealityCzech_main_image

Past Event

This event was on Sat 14 November, 2–6pm

A day of screenings, discussion and poetry exploring the Czech film avant-garde and its current reincarnations.

Part one features a documentary by Libor Nemeškal, an in depth study of Czech independent film-making in the 1920s and 30s, alongside original avant-garde films. Part two features a selection of contemporary works and a reading by poet Stephen Watts.

The programme is curated by Michaela Freeman and organised by Czech Centre London in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery as part of Made in Prague Film Festival (3-29 November 2015).



Part 1
Libor Nemeškal documentary + original avant-garde films


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 1920s and 30s. 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.

Original films

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
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

Part 2
Contemporary works

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, 2013, 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, 2012, 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.

You may also like