Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Nov 19, 2015 7:00 PM


Eminent art professors from Prague schools, FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts) and UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague) will give presentation on some of the topics of Czech photography and will be accompanied by a live performance “NFMRC 15“.


Tomáš Pospiszyl: The Politics of Intimacy; Czechoslovak Performance of the Seventies and its Remakes

The lecture enquires into the motivations behind the contemporary restaging of the works of Jan Mlčoch and Jiří Kovanda, Czech performance artists active in the 1970s. The Rafani, Daniela Baráčková and Barbora Klímová were attracted primarily by those works that in various ways test individual freedom. The performances of the 1970s are often perceived as an expression of dissent with the politics of the period. In the case of Jiří Kovanda, the form of his documentation is even compared with the form of the secret police file. The contemporary remakes of the performances of the 70s in the Czech environment play the role of a critical comparison of the totalitarian society and liberal democracy. They demonstrate that today the public space is a place in which are manifested the instruments of social control. In contrast to the remakes of the classic performances conducted in the spirit of their academization, discussed reconstructions bring our attention back to the present day.


Karel Císař: The Sun on the Image. Institutional critique in two installations by Jiří Kovanda and in his follower’s works

Installation 5 (Glass Plate in the Forlorn Gallery) from 1979 and The Sun on the Image from 1980 have a special place in his early work. At first glance it could seem to be a late reaction to minimalism by Carl Andre and Robert Morris, whose texts were also translated by Kovanda. But when he chose a glass plate for his intervention, he broke up with neutrally understood phenomenological space in favor of institutional space. It is not therefore a late reaction to minimalism but completely contemporary demonstration of institutional critique, which was recently taken up by a new generation of Czech artists.

Lea Petříková a Franz Milec: NFRMC 15

Subversive tactics are not always aimed at “big politics“. They include small acts like in the work by Ľubomír Durček, one of the most famous Slovak conceptualists. In 70s and 80s, in the time of normalization, he addressed his subtle attacks against the establishment – not the communist government but against the submissive residents.

One of his works – situation NFRMC – Information about hands and people which he performed in 1982, have now been  remade and appropriated. Originally Durček found 6 unknown people, who he took to the border of a town and countryside, to the the land of nobody, where there are ‘things depredating the nature to the level of junkyard.” He covered their eyes and did not allow them to speak. They could only touch each other by hand and get know each other in this way. After some time he let them leave but in such a way they could never communicate about this incident.


Vančát: Czech post-Photography: Transformation of Modernity

The lecture tries to describe the trajectory of Czech Photography development from exclusive modern image to contemporary “photography in expanded filed” using the examples of important Czech authors (Jan Svoboda, Lukáš Jasanský/Martin Polák, Markéta Othová, Jiří Thýn).


Tomáš Dvořák:
The Contemporaneity of Photography

The concept of contemporaneity has become a fundamental concern of both arts and theory of the present day. Using the example of several recent photographic works, the lecture will discuss technical conditions of contemporaneity and ask the double question of what makes photography contemporary and what makes contemporaneity photographic.





321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Nov 19, 2015 7:00 PM


Czech Center

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