Window to the VVP AVU Video Archive

Erotically titillating footage of a voluptuous woman who does everything in order to keep the camera’s attention. We don’t know why the film was made or who this woman is, but when Jiří David discovered her, she reminded him of Marilyn Monroe. David had previously used a posthumous photograph of this sex symbol of the 1960s in his installation Monogram (1992), in which he accompanied the image with acoustic toilet bowls that played the song Happy Birthday Mr. President. The aftertaste of looking at the dead actress fades away after viewing the video made five years later. Marilyn Monroe comes back to life in the form of her frisky doppelganger. According to David, the slowed-down Arabic music that accompanies the video is “a kind of willful act, an Arabesque, perhaps like that ficus tree or whatever that thing is behind ‘Marilyn’, or like the naïve movements of her hands and body.” It can also be interpreted as a counterpoint highlighting the contrast between our view of woman and the Muslim view.

In the Window to the Archive programme the AVU Research Center in Prague (VVP AVU) in conjunction with Artyč regularly release works from the VVP AVU video archive. The selection for Artyč 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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