Česká centra, Czech Centres

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10 May 2007 00:00 - 10 Jun 2007 00:00


An exhibition of video artwork by two leading Czech artists, Jiri Cernicky's Train Station and Tereza Severova's No memory.



Private view: 10 May, 6.30 – 8. 30 pm

Opening times: 12 – 4 pm



Admission Free


Since the radical work of the avant-garde deliberately alienated the art from their audience, artists have been often trying to recover a deeper, more intimate contact. This theme has been, in different ways, approached by works presented at this exhibition. The exhibition has resulted from the cooperation on an exchange project for artists, which has run between FUTURA  centre of contemporary art (Prague) and VIVID centre of video production (Birmingham). Jiri Cernicky took his residential stay in VIVID in 2005, Tereza Severova is taking her residential stay in Birmingham this year.





Jiri Cernicky (b.1966) will present five new works from the series of ABS Video. The keystone of all videos are recordings of particular places, made in real time, with no actors, no screenplay, no editing. The author describes them as ‘time and space readymade’.


He mostly shoots at high-density places – public spaces being only crossed by people, or inside blocks of flats. The scenes were shot with static video camera; only one recording was made with industrial video camera (The Platform). The material is supplied with so called ‘mental subtitles’. These are records of thoughts of those whose images are captured by the camera, or of private dialogues between the building’s inhabitants (Tower Block). Mental subtitles work as a dynamic component of the picture, they appear on its various parts and gradually fill up the whole image, at some point losing readability. They have the advantage of being able to, at a given moment, show thoughts of several people who are not communicating although being present at the same place. In such way, it is possible to create an image of collective consciousness or subconscious, evoking various social aspects.


The material for mental subtitles was collected by direct questioning of the recorded people right after they stepped out of image. They were requested to describe what they were thinking about while walking through the place. 80% of people replied spontaneously, probably because they were bewildered by the question. As for Tower Block, the dialogues were recorded by a complicated bugging system.






In the Memory Loss by Tereza Severova (b.1979) images of individuals are woven together in an impressive, life size, choral video installation. The question of memory and technology sharpens the conflict between the natural and the artificial, between people and machines. It confronts us with the possibility of a new type of evolution that would make human kind superfluous. Technology in this collective form is becoming our second (and often better and more perfect) „nature“. Severova depicts and overcomes the potential pitfall of thus new evolution by using combination of photography and video, of a static and dynamic picture that she manipulates in such a way that they seem to have the qualities of both of these categories. The characters move and are „alive“, we can follow their stare that seems to search for something, but they are at the same time also very static, deprived of all contexts, resembling dead butterflies in a show-box.






Presented by The Czech Centre London together with Artsdepot and FUTURA Prague.






30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


From: 10 May 2007 00:00
To: 10 Jun 2007 00:00


Artsdepot Apthorp Gallery

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