Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Czechoslovakia 1966-68



I started reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Berlin last summer (and I got so hooked I decided to make it last as long as possible). It is set in Prague in 1968 at the time of the Prague Spring soviet invasion, and plays on the effect of an individual's history to tell an incredibly descriptive story of the spaces between their relationships, and what divides them. I find these divisions really interesting - they are so often unspoken, instead we spend much of our lives concerned with things in common, likenesses, similarities, sameness; and I begin to wonder what the effect of having the same differences might be...




I love coincidences, so was happy to find myself watching Daisies by Vera Chytilov√° last night, which I'd been trying to find in 2004, but had forgotton I was looking for (the best kind of find...) Made in 1966 also in Czechoslovakia, it was banned immediately. It becomes an animated, torn up, stripped down aggressive collage; with some amazing visual treats hidden away in the elaborate ever-changing sets; giant leaves, flowers, isolated, pressed, pinned.

Reading and seeing them together, I feel like one is a visualisation of the spaces in the other. But of course this might just be random...

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology's student newspaper, The Tech, from 1971, on the use of the word random as a noun - "A person who happens to be in a particular place at a particular time, a person who is there by chance; a person who is not a member of a particular group; an outsider.")