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10 Sep 2010 00:00 - 16 Oct 2010 00:00

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill – The Graphic Art and Forgotten Spy Films of Cold War Europe

Examples of masterful Czech poster design are featured in a collection of posters and fi lms examining in a riot of colour and kitsch a variety of sub-themes from this overlooked genre of both East and West European cinema.



Gallery Opening Times:
Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Opening Reception:
Thursday 9 September 6.00pm – 9.00pm

University of Hertfordshire Galleries (UH Galleries) and the Hertfordshire Film Consortium are delighted to present Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, an exhibition, symposium and a series of film screenings celebrating the unique graphic art and forgotten spy films of Cold War Europe.

Centred on the kitsch designs produced across Europe during the Cold War, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill is the first exhibition of a collection of newly restored posters from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, the U.S.S.R, East and West Germany and the UK. The different graphic styles in the East and West provide an expansive portrait of European taste, national identity and politics of the period with the brash super kitsch of Italian cinema posters juxtaposed compellingly with the lo-tech golden age of non commercial Czech film poster design.

The posters relate to an entire legacy of films tarnished by state control in Eastern Europe and overkill of the Spy Genre in the West. The exhibition will include both leaden communist propaganda and the epically trashy fruits of European co-production.

An international symposium: The Forgotten Spy Films of Cold War Europe - the first of its kind ever staged, accompanies the exhibition. Taking place at UH Galleries in Hatfield on Saturday 18 September 2010, this full day event will include contributions from British and international specialists who will debate the Eurospy genre across three thematic strands: Real Life Spies, Kitsch and Transnational Appropriation and Espionage Italia. The day will also include a showing of the forgotten spy classic Danger Route (Seth Holt, GB 1968).

A showing of Danger Diabolik (Mario Bava, IT 1968), a little known cult classic combining the master criminal, super-spy and psychedelic film genres, will take place at the Weston Auditorium on Tuesday 5 October at 7.00pm with an introductory talk by the curator of Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.

A public lecture, The European-ness of Eurospy by curator Richard Rhys Davies will take place on Tuesday 19 October at 5.30pm as part of the Critical Dialogues programme jointly organised by UH Galleries, UH School of Creative Arts and SSAHRI, the Art and Design Research Institute.

Curator Richard Rhys Davies is a former film editor and custodian of the Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive (www.kisskisskillkillarchive.com), a repository of over 3,000 spy cinema artifacts from the Cold War, including 16mm films, and a poster and stills collection. A key ambition of the archive is to conserve important cultural artifacts that reflect the zeitgeist of their time. The focus is on films and graphic art that fall outside the accepted cannon of “good art”.



30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


From: 10 Sep 2010 00:00
To: 16 Oct 2010 00:00


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