Absences in the Video Archive is a series of interventions into the NFA Video Archive which Artyčok.TV has been working on since 2020 in cooperation with the National Film Archive. Each year, guests who are experts in various disciplines outside of the field of art are invited to reflect on the scope of the archive of audiovisual artworks that is currently being built. The first episodes of the series deal primarily with the range of works from the collection of the Video Archive of VVP AVU, which make up the majority of the works represented thus far. From the perspective of their fields, these guests consider what works, artists, and concepts are not yet represented here.
In the first year, Artyčok.TV invited sociologist, professor, and media theoretician Irena Reifová, who offered a view of the relationship between audiovisual artistic production and social criticism of the dominant power affairs in society from the perspective of her research focus. This resulted in the commentated video series entitled Neoliberal Stakhanovites, which was presented to the public in the online programme of the cinema Ponrepo in the autumn of 2020. In her selection, Irena Reifová presented works that touch on the topic of the representation of work and working conditions in contemporary neoliberal society.
The published essay “Neoliberal Stakhanovites: Czech video art through the lens of critical theory” reflects on the works of Matěj Al-Ali, Barbora Kleinhamplová and Tereza Stejskalová, Jana Kapelová, Veronika Čechmánková, Jakub Jansa, Zbyňek Baladrán, Matěj Smetana, and Vasil Artamonov and Alexey Klyuykov.
The series Absences in the Video Archive also includes a short video introducing the background of the project’s creation and the basis for the pilot episode. The collection of the Video Archive of VVP AVU and the NFA Video Archive project are introduced through conversations with Sláva Sobotovičová, Sylva Poláková, and Markéta Jonášová. The video also includes excerpts from the works of the represented artists.