Česká centra, Czech Centres

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8 Feb 2018 07:00

Ivan Blatný's poetry at Whitechapel Gallery

Marking Britain’s historic status as a place of sanctuary for threatened European artists, this evening of films, sound-works and readings marks the creative contributions to the UK of the remarkable film-makers Robert Vas and Werner Kissling, the indomitable artist Kurt Schwitters and singular poet Ivan Blatny, with special appearances by film-maker and cultural activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman, poet and translator Stephen Watts, curator and film-maker Peter Todd and poet and co-organiser of ‘Refugee Tales’, David Herd.

All these makers found themselves in Britain for various reasons around the same time in the troubled middle of the twentieth century, and this event marks various anniversaries attached to these distinctive makers.

The programme includes readings by poet Stephen Watts of work by Ivan Blatny alongside original footage of the poet; an original sound piece recited by Kurt Schwitters himself, the films Eriskay, a Poem of Remote Lives (Kissling) and Refuge England (Vas), as well as two artists’ film works inspired by Schwitters: Merzschmerz by Andrea Luka Zimmerman, and Knots by Adam Chodzko.

About Ivan Blatný
Ivan Blatný, an acclaimed young Czech poet, declared he would not return to his homeland after the Communist coup. He had been invited to Britain by the British Council and was immediately stripped of his citizenship, denounced and even declared dead on Czech radio. He suffered from severe mental illness and spent the rest of his life (he died in 1990) in various asylums in the east of England. However, he continued to write and is now widely renowned as one of the major Czech poets of the century for his lyrical and surreal associative works, often written in Czech and English within the same poem.

Tickets: £9.50 / £7.50
Book online


Schwitters’ Merzbarn in Langdale, Littoral Arts Trust





77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX


8 Feb 2018 07:00


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