Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Czech Files

anthologies/catalogues (interviews with Czech artists of the 1960s–1970s)

This publication is a result of visits and discussions carried out by Hans Ulrich Obrist in artists’ studios in Prague around 2001 and 2008. Interviews with Milan Grygar, Jiří Kovanda, Karel Malich, Zdeněk Sýkora, and many others, map the historical events as well as unknown stories of the actors of the Czech “second avant-garde” or “neo-modernism” of the former socialist block. The artists and intellectuals of this generation were born in between 1920–1945. They lived through the 1960s cultural upheaval known as the Prague Spring, becoming part of international cultural movements for a limited time, and witnessed the “normalization” of the 1970s when censorship was re-introduced. This series of interviews contextualize a generation of Czech artists within the historical events that marked their lives and careers, and draw attention to their urgency to resist historical events while keeping their artistic practices sustained, radical, and vital.

Published with tranzit.cz, this publication is a unique encounter with key artistic figures and moments of history, which created a complex landscape of artistic practices under socialism, as well as after the changes.

The book is part of the Documents series, co-published with Les presses du réel and dedicated to critical writings.

English edition
Authors: Milan Grygar Ivan Kafka Stanislav Kolíbal Jiří Kovanda Martin Machovec Karel Malich Hans Ulrich Obrist Zdeněk Sýkora Jiří Valoch
Editors: Lionel Bovier Vít Havránek Hans Ulrich Obrist
Translated by: John Comer, Barbara Day, Ivan Guttierez, Elizabeth Spáčilová
Publisher: tranzit.cz, JRP-Ringier, Les presses du réel
Distributor: JRP-Ringier
Design: Gavillet & Rust, Geneva - Nicolas Leuba
City: Geneva
Year: 2014
Pages: 126
ISBN/ISSN: 978-3-03764-387-7
Price: 20 euro

The book was published with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic


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