Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
19 Apr 1994 to 16 Jul 1994
Klára Bočkayová, Milena Dopitová, Filko-Fylko-Phylko, Peter Halir, Milan Knížák, Martin Knut, Jiří Kolář, Július Koller, Dušan Marek, František Skála
Marian Dzúrik & Ann Stephen
After the Spring focused on the work of eight contemporary artists from the former Czechoslovakia. Their work was organised around two major events: the Prague Spring of the 1960s and the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The utopian cultural projects of 1968 were set beside recent works, made in the contemporary climate of ‘post totalitarian blues.’
Several of the artists – Jiří Kolář and Milan Knížák – were key cultural figures in the Prague Spring and well known in the West. Others like Milena Dopitova and Martin Knut were part of a new generation who were students during the tumultuous changes of 1989. Their art confronted issues of marginality, locality, identity, of a newly invented nationhood, of the legacy of the Cold War. The artists’ responses were diverse, characterised by conceptual strategies and wit, undercutting the stereotype of ‘wounded existence’ that has marred the West’s view of the culture of the Eastern Bloc.
A film festival was held in May 1994 to accompany the exhibition, featuring some of the classic films of the Czechoslovakian ‘New Wave’ as well as some contemporary releases.
Canberra School of Art Gallery, ACT: August 1994
RMIT Gallery, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Vic: October 1994