Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Sranda v marnici"

This exhibit, which is constructed around "The Wall," 
was put together by Peter Sis's Czech publisher,
 Joachim Dvorak, at Labyrint Publishing. Dvorak publishes 
utterly spectacular (and often quite daring) books. 

For further information on Labyrint, 
and Dvorak (above), 
here's a's mostly in Czech: 
absolutely worth looking at, 
the visuals are stunning. 

This exhibit will travel to Czech Centers all over the world next year; we'll have more information on that as the week progresses, along with the rest of the photos from the work in the exhibition. Each picture can be viewed in detail: click on the photo at the top of the post, and take a look. 

The work that Sis (below) has created is a landmark achievement for many reasons. "The Wall" resonates with a truth that must be remembered.

The background is fascinating, and not to be forgotten. There's an incredibly insightful transcript, here, from Radio Praha. 

I hope you have time to read the whole thing--it's not too long--but I'm also going to include an excerpt, below.

It is important to remember this difficult past: we can pay tribute to the democracy which we celebrate today by acknowledging that it is our great good fortune to live here, at this time, in this place. Others have not been, and are not now, as lucky. 

Peter Sis, from the interview on Radio Praha:
“It is hard because I get angry now thinking about things I didn’t angry about back then, because when I was a child or when I was a young man, you take for granted some things that are so stupid and so ridiculous. You just know that’s the rule and you just follow the rules....
“And then I somehow got hold of the memoirs of my friend Mejla Hlavsa, who played with the [underground rock group] Plastic People of the Universe, and I had tears in my eyes because really the book is about him being a working class guy who just wanted to play rock music and wanted to grow long hair.
“And by all these circumstances and the rules, when he didn’t fit into the system, he became a political hero and they tortured him to the point that he died at age 50, so all these things make me angry now but they didn’t make me angry at the time.
“It’s sometimes a surprise to people of my generation who say – oh it wasn’t such a big deal and we had great fun and don’t you remember you were in love with this girl when you were 19, but it sort of reminds me of the stories of the Czech writer Arnošt Lustig who was in Auschwitz at the age of 16-17 and he fell in love then too. It’s a wonderful thing to fall in love but it’s not the right thing to be in Auschwitz. So when Czechs say – didn’t we have fun too? I always say yes, but it was ‘sranda v marnici’, which translates as something like ‘fun in the morgue’.”