On the back side of the book jacket, there was a drawing of two human heads, parts of body, the top of a mountain and a vase. Some illustrations were in colours, others were just sketched out in a black line. A girl’s torso is raising its left hand in a gesture of greeting; the smaller male figure is holding a red, round target in his right hand. A week ago, I bought a book titled Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel. I was intrigued by its jacket depicting a girl in a blue sweater. A motley scrum shows characters and objects that gradually tell their stories throughout the book. Not until a certain common framework prevails over the individual stories can we speak about a discourse of an image.
JH: Why the theme of film props?
RŠ: Recently, some of my videos have started appearing in classic movie theatres. And I have become interested in the circumstances and background of the creation of films as such. When I worked in the radio environment, I was interested in a similar thing.
JH: You are picturing a space which was originally intended for creating visual materials.
RŠ: This is a loop which I already considered some time ago.
JH: Has this project got a working title?
RŠ: No, it hasn’t. But we can call it Barrandov for instance.
JH: This brings us to the particular film props which are located in the Barrandov film studios.
RŠ: Yes, we are talking about an area of some two thousand square meters. That is huge. I like the fact that the props have already been standing there for quite some time. The decorations are slowly peeling off and they expose the wooden base panels over which artificial sandstone or marble had been pasted.
JH: Each patina thus gradually becomes its own micro-loop. An object which was manufactured in a way to look old really begins getting old.
RŠ: I wrote to the Barrandov studios and asked if I could make a short video there. They replied in a very friendly and helpful manner and suggested that I should wait until some larger film production team orders the services of the studios. In such case, the decorations undergo reconstruction. However, I am interested in the very opposite, I like those unintentional mistakes caused by the ravages of time and material wear. Such as windows made of transparent films – you look at a broken window but in fact you see a torn up film fluttering in wind.
JH: So you are interested in the potential which is not being used? The useful things which are left idle?
RŠ: There is a true replica of a Vatican square from the fifteenth century which was made for a series set in the medieval times. The first thing that crosses your mind when you find yourself among such props is the possibility of making a new film there. It was made for that purpose. Only a few people work with the motive that these are predominantly props.
JH: And what is this?
RŠ: That is a test. It is so called intelligent putty which was created by mistake during the development of artificial rubber.
JH: It is looking quite nice now but it is not moving at all.
RŠ: It should actually be a bit runnier.
JH: Does it “run” at all?
RŠ: Maybe the bronze coloured one will be runnier.
- The exhibition is called Souvenir00:00:00.734
- and the name is perhaps a link between all the things here,00:00:02.398
- because however they may appear various00:00:07.905
- they are all related by a memory of something which doesn't exist any more,00:00:11.956
- a certain original, a pre-historic shape or an archetype which00:00:20.203
- doesn't exist any more and we know only its copy00:00:27.322
- and the copy lives its autonomous life.00:00:33.355
- This is a plaster cast of the Roman copy of Doryphoros.00:00:48.671
- A material we call intelligent plasticine is flowing down him.00:00:53.391
- You can get the plasticine in a toyshop,00:01:00.551
- the Americans call it silly patty.00:01:03.252
- For me it symbolizes a mistake materialization,00:01:06.755
- because the Americans developed the plasticine in the 1930s as00:01:13.022
- a substitute for natural caoutchouc,00:01:17.711
- but they soon discovered they couldn't utilize it in the rubber-making industry,00:01:21.244
- so they asked in laboratories all over the world what would it be good for00:01:26.387
- but they got only rejecting responses.00:01:31.449
- So they never figured out the purpose it could serve00:01:37.451
- and in the 1960s it became a toy for children.00:01:42.817
- Doryphoros is the first sculpture to demonstrate the Polyclitean canon00:01:50.625
- and it is determining for the entire figural sculpture.00:01:58.557
- It's an embodiment of an ideal,00:02:07.495
- but the original of Doryphoros wasn't preserved.00:02:10.283
- They melted the sculpture down to make weapons in ancient Greece,00:02:16.141
- the statue was originally bronze,00:02:23.623
- so that's why there is this bronze intelligent plasticine flowing down00:02:25.974
- as a memory of the original shape which we don't know.00:02:33.334
- The plinth is partly made from an unplaned wood00:02:41.018
- and partly from an antiqued wood,00:02:46.983
- in this case it is marble.00:02:53.471
- It was made by decorators from the film studios in Barrandov.00:02:58.134
- Another part of the exhibition are photographs I took in Barrandov00:03:05.646
- on a place where a colossus was built in 2011.00:03:10.838
- It's a reconstruction of a Vatican square from the late 15th century in life-size.00:03:17.573
- It isn't very usual to leave coulisse that long exposed and weathered.00:03:26.784
- They usually take them apart right away after they finish the shooting.00:03:42.162
- In this case they have been there since 201100:03:47.508
- and many other films were made there.00:03:50.555
- The coulisse must be rearranged every time00:03:55.977
- so that they don't look the same and the setting doesn't repeat.00:03:59.771
- However the ravages of time are apparent as they have been there for such a long time,00:04:08.013
- they peel down, you can see the OSB boards there,00:04:17.107
- scaffoldings and other stuff.00:04:20.673
- It has got almost post-apocalyptic character.00:04:27.085
- This is a video made in Barrandov as well.00:04:32.803
- My work slowly moves from the radio to a film.00:04:38.071
- It's perhaps because I projected few of my recent works in a cinema.00:04:46.802
- And when I was sitting in the cinema I wondered00:04:52.366
- where the contents we normally watch in cinema come from.00:04:55.397
- So the way to film studios and Barrandov was self-evident.00:04:59.330
- As for this particular work,00:05:07.707
- there is an operator with a steady cam.00:05:11.796
- Steady cam is a device allowing a smooth movement of the camera in space.00:05:15.551
- The camera looks as if it levitated.00:05:27.983
- Although it looks modern, it's a relatively old device,00:05:33.320
- it was developed in the 1980s,00:05:40.286
- originally as a machine gun holder in a helicopter.00:05:43.755
- So the parallel between shooting and shooting a film is evident.00:05:49.739
- Doryphoros means a lance or a weapon carrier and00:06:01.644
- here we have a camera carrier Jaromír Kalina00:06:08.725
- who has been doing the job since the early 1990s or even late 1980s.00:06:12.873
- He is one of the best professionals in this field in our country.00:06:19.978
- Steady cam is a relatively obsolete thing although it doesn't look like that.00:06:26.134
- It is being replaced by drones, gyroscopes and00:06:35.103
- other devices which are easier to operate.00:06:39.739
- Steady cam requires almost gymnastic operation and a long training.00:06:43.665
- This video is a remake of an instructional video from the 1980s00:06:54.201
- and despite the fact the camera looks as if it levitated,00:07:08.081
- it is unbelievably heavy, about 45 or 50 kilos,00:07:19.753
- it's a legendary camera, thirty five,00:07:28.525
- Arri Alexa I think,00:07:32.790
- important film productions were shot with this camera.00:07:35.425
- The sound installation we can hear also refers to certain proportions and references,00:07:44.901
- they are sounds used when testing loudspeakers and00:07:55.502
- they mingle with sounds of knocking on some material00:08:01.890
- which is a kind of opposite because we can test the material quality by knocking on it as well.00:08:09.818
- So synthetic sounds and knocking on wood or a wall or whatever else.00:08:19.548