As part of the collaboration with the Slovenian festival StopTrick, Jiří Neděla, one of PAF’s programme managers, has prepared a screening block of Czech moving images concerned with the topic of propaganda. The works by approximately dozen of Czech authors will be introduced to the Slovenian audience at the end of October.
Meshes of Despotism is a selection of audiovisual artworks of Czech authors of moving image. Although the content and form of the works is very diverse, what they have in common is a topic of propaganda, which may be both a tool of dictatorial despotism and a delicate phenomenon experienced in everyday life. In the selected works, the topic of propaganda appears in a form of a political or social manipulation, advertisement and other forms of psychological pressure. The works themselves are a gestures of revolt against propaganda, attempts to uncover their hidden mechanisms, ironical paraphrases or philosophical reflections.
Meshes of despotism
Curated screening block Jiří Neděla
Nov 27–30 2016
Festival StopTrik, Maribor, Slovenia
+ FB event
Jan Pfeiffer: Předtím, než jsem tam byl / Before I Was There
Hand drawn animation / 4’41 / 2008
Jan Pfeiffer produced the animation on Sophia before he visited the place or saw any photos of it. He primarily focused on how the communist era influenced and defined the contemporary face of the Capital. He based his drawings on the experience from his own hometown and on his observation of other cities in post totalitarian countries.
Vladimír Turner: Dům z karet - making of / House of Cards - making of
Making of video-documentation of two installations at public space in Prague, Czech republic / 2’35 / 2010
Two objects made of political ads in Prague. 4,5 meters high. Action happened two days before Czech elections 2010. The artist took all the illegal propaganda around this particular park (Karlovo náměstí in Prague, Czech Republic) and cleaned out this area polluted from guerrilla advertising methods.
Rafani: Bez názvu / Untitled
videos / 2’46, 1’41, 2’23, 3’16, 1’34, 1’25 / 2008
A series of videos by the artist-activist group Rafani was made on the occasion of their exhibition Bez názvu (Untitled) in Prague Galerie Václav Špály. With various extent of explicitness and symbolicalness, particular pieces deal with the issue of oppression, supremacy, manipulation and despotism.
Vladimír Turner: Urbania Jones / Urbania Jones
videoperformance, public intervention, brownfields of Valencia, Spain / 3’15 / 2012
Symbolic getting out from hectic and oversaturated urban landscape through the symbol of new "natural environment"- a billboard. Contrast between visual-pollution and nature.
Zbyněk Baladrán: Pracovní proces / Working process
16mm found footage digitalized to SD video / 9’40 / 2004
The main idea of this video essay is to reinterpret the process of working with found film footage and the interpretative possibilities. The footage originates from former socialist Czechoslovakia and the artist here attempts to depict, by revealing the creative process, how this epoch may be read. Non-traditional instruments are used here, such as, for instance, randomness. Its impact on the form of the subsequent description of socialism highlights the thought processes and their certain salience as a template.
Vladimír Turner: 33 skalpů / 33 Scalps
public intervention in Prague, Czech Republic, videodocumentation / 1’56 / 2011
The artist cut–off 33 logos of Prague Municipality from it’s public ads around Letná neigbourhood, where a new highway was being built in place of original playgrounds and park. The tunnel which was built there is a symbol of Prague corrupted politics.
Alena Kotzmannová: Home Cinema / Home Cinema
found footage video / 9’ / 2006
A found footage videos composed of the jingles introducing film companies, TV shows or simply merchandise. Putting them into the line, the author achieves an effect, when the jingles lose their original promoting purpose and reveal new aesthetical qualities, mostly overlooked in their original context.
Klára Doležálková: tdž / tdzh
video / 3’50 / 2010
Sitting on the ground in a street with the ruins of a demolished house nearby, the artist is being taught interjections representing sounds of shooting, explosions and other symptoms of armed conflicts. A contrast between war fright and childish innocence appears.
Vojtěch Fröhlich, Ondřej Mladý, Jan Šimánek, Vladimír Turner: Osvícení (Making of video) / Enlightenment (Making of video)
site-specific installation/ public intervention / Prague, Czech republic / 2’27 / 2012
In the autumn of 2012 a temporary group of artist friends created a visual intervention in the public space of Barrandovský Most bridge in Prague. During a swift nocturnal action they climbed onto an illuminated billboard by the bridge road and redirected its lamps to illuminate a nearby sculpture that until then had been overshadowed by this huge advertising space. The strong light source caused “Equillibrium”, a cast-concrete sculpture by sculptor Josef Klimeš from 1989, to make an almost theatrical appearance. The huge billboard, advertising a luxury off-road car, was plunged into darkness.
Adéla Babanová: Návrat do Adriaportu / Return to Adriaport
short film / 14:23 / 2013
This fictional document goes back in time to year 1975, when a plan to build a tunnel connecting the then Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, so that Czech and Slovak people could have an access to the sea, was presented. Although the plan was never realized, the film, combining the period recordings with staged elements, suggests its successful completion and its sociopolitical consequences.
Vladimír Turner - We are all terrorists
happening, Toulouse / 3:11 / 2013
The artist was inviting people to take a photo with/ behind the mannequin in a shape of revolting siluete. He moved it to the places where tourists usually take photos. People talked to me about anti-terrorist laws, police repression in their cities etc.
Vilém Novák, Pavel Sterec: Sexuální boj komodit / The Sexual Struggle of Commodities
computer animation / 7′ / 2014
This film formulates the politically defined statement that radicalisation and sexualisation of desire, by which we are attracted to commodities, is a tool for the suppression of our compulsion to accumulate property. Its ideology paraphrases the 1932 book Sexual Struggles of Youth written by the psychoanalyst and Marxist Wilhelm Reich. The Czech translation was published by the Left Front and enjoyed great success. Among other issues Reich studied the relationship between sexual desire and the socialist revolution. The animation uses graphics made by 3D scanning; artefacts from the collections of the National Museum in Prague in zoomorphic and anthropomorphic form served as models for the virtual prints. The related theme of this film is that people are being objectified, while commodities are being anthropomorphised.