Window to the VVP AVU Video Archive

In the summer of 1994 I took part in a charming workshop in the Romanian town of Sibiu. I responded to an invitation of the then operating Soros Centre in Bratislava, which had disseminated the workshop call. It was organised by Romanian Soros Centre. The workshop was held in an open-air museum of folk architecture. It was very bizarre, on the cultural side as much as on the participants’ side. There were some amazing female lecturers form the USA, all brisk energetic feminist intellectuals. At their home schools they lectured on philosophy, film theory and history. They all spoke several languages ​​and showed us numerous good pieces from their archives. One Romanian film director who had apparently already at that time belonged to the stars of the Romanian showbiz, asked them climb a large wooden phallic sculpture as a part of a video exercise. And they, in their black Levis jeans, had managed it. Participants themselves were all nice and friendly artists, students and future filmmakers from Eastern Europe. In the evenings we screened examples of independent American filmmaking. We helped each other. We edited the daily footage recording it from camera to camera, and we ate, drank and fell in love with each other. The final outcome from the workshop was to be a personal documentary from the location. I asked the tractor train driver to move the train in front of my camera. The train offered some amazing views of the museum. And that etude with a dog in the street at the end of the video happened completely by chance. I filmed and edited the video directly in the camera. Via my walkman I added background music that blared over the museum outdoor loudspeakers. A report on the museum park was created that did not feature any actual events, places or real people. No video could match the intensity of the experience though. When we screened our videos as the conclusion of the workshop I was the only one of all the participants that received a diploma, kindly signed in hand. That does change one’s life, doesn’t it?
Dušan Zahoranský

Dušan Zahoranský (born in Havířov, 1972) is a sculptor. He studied the Academy of Fine Arts and design in Bratislava with Prof. Juraj Bartusz and since graduation he lives and works in Prague. He exhibits solo (for example Uncensored Version, Karlin Studios, Prague, 2010) in couples (for example with Robert Šalanda, Word for Word, MeetFactory, Prague, 2013) or in group exhibitions (for example The Exhibitor and His Spectators, The House of Arts Brno, 2011 or Form follows… risk, Futura, Prague, 2007). Besides his artistic practice he is also a university educator and an active figure in the Czech art scene. He was for example one of the founders of the Digital Laboratory (DigiLab) at AVU in Prague or a curator at MeetFactory.

In the Window to the VVP AVU videoarchive 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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