Window to the VVP AVU Video Archive

“Our pseudo-lives were nothing but speech bubbles. […] We desecrated everything. […] We ground [it all] to dust,” says Vít Soukup as the pessimist Drudge in the series Old Mates. His approach to films was similar. He made works full of ironic references to high culture and low, and enjoyed using clichés in their raw state. He desecrated, belittled, emptied, and thus could express fundamental truths that, undisguised, would have sounded too banal.

“Our pseudo-lives were nothing but speech bubbles. […] We desecrated everything. […] We ground [it all] to dust,” says Vít Soukup as the pessimist Drudge in the series Old Mates. His approach to films was similar. He made works full of ironic references to high culture and low, and enjoyed using clichés in their raw state. He desecrated, belittled, emptied, and thus could express fundamental truths that, undisguised, would have sounded too banal. In fact, based on his Suppository Theory, he wanted to prescribe his “homeopathy of Banality” to all the fine arts of that time so that they might break free of their elitist incomprehensibility.

The films of Vít Soukup are being published on a DVD by VVP AVU and Divus publishing.
http://www.divus.cc/en/eshop/product/film-a-multimedia/1815/vit-soukup-vsechno.html

More on Vít Soukup: http://www.vit-soukup.cz/

Old Mates (1993)

First part of a series: A drama of two aging men and the search for one’s place in the sun

Vít Soukup shot Old Mates and The Silver Trail (1993) as two parts of an imaginary television series. Both stories are introduced by a television announcer who, in a serious tone, presents a chaotic tangle of banal interpersonal intrigue, as was the custom before genre-based socialist television series. Old Malina comes to visit his resigned friend Drudge, who denounces the vanity of life as a former member of the “coyote” generation of the nineties, deconstructed by postmodernism. In the end, however, Drudge lets his old friend pull him out of his lethargy and together they head out towards a magic moment. The debts towards one’s own life story can be settled with the help of the kind of friendship that comes only once in a lifetime.
With: Jan Materna, Vít Soukup, Adam Hlaváč
Announcer: Jan Kučera
Music: Jan Kučera
Camera: Adam Hlaváč
Written and directed by: Vít Soukup

In the Window to the Archive programme the AVU Research Center in Prague (VVP AVU) in conjunction with Artyčok.tv is regularly releasing works from the VVP AVU video archive (go to http://vvp.avu.cz/idatum/search/artvideoarchiv?string=). The selection for Artyčok.tv focuses on older works (materials from the end of the 20th century), works bordering on video art, film and documentation, or on purely documentary materials related to the recent development of Czech and Slovak visual art.

 

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