My guest today on One on One is Vit Havránek, head of the Tranzit Display gallery in Prague. Vit opened up this space for contemporary art last November, after working for many years at the National Gallery in Prague. He publishes and edits books of young Czech artists’ work, and has been charged with amassing one of the biggest collections of Central European art today by the Austrian bank Erste. I met him in the café of his new gallery to ask him a bit about the way he used the space:
This week in Mailbox: The 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Joe Hewer’s memories of a 1956 trip to Czechoslovakia, a 1970 Radio Prague print to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia, weapons used by two Czech Olympic medallists, Kateřina Emmons and David Kostelecký. Listeners quoted: Jayanta Chakrabarty, Joe Hewer, Bill Smith, Steve Price.
Exhibitions have been taking place all over Prague recently to commemorate the Warsaw-Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968. But perhaps the biggest of all the displays was unveiled on Thursday, exactly 40 years after the Soviet tanks rolled in. ‘… And the tanks arrived’ sees Prague’s National Museum – to this day a symbol of the occupation – returned to the way it looked in 1968. For one month only, a 1960’s-style kiosk, vintage cars, and of course, a Soviet tank stand outside the museum.
It was 40 years ago this Thursday that Warsaw-Pact troops invaded the former Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the hope and reform of the so-called ‘Prague Spring’. All this week, Radio Prague will be commemorating the invasion by broadcasting the testimonies of those who were there. For today’s programme, Rosie Johnston spoke to Libor Hajský, a junior photographer at the Czech Press Agency on August 21, 1968 – the day that Soviet tanks rolled into Prague.
Several of Josef Koudelka’s 1968 photos are being shown at the Mánes gallery, by the River Vltava, in a new exhibition entitled 1945 – Liberation, 1968 – Occupation. Two rooms of iconic black and white photographs show two very different sets of images: the Red Army greeted with smiles and flowers in May 1945, and Russian soldiers berated by angry crowds in August 1968. So how do the people looking at these images feel about today's Russia, especially in the light of the current situation in Georgia?
People come to the South Moravian town of Mikulov, located right on the border with Austria, for many things – historic monuments, folklore, and wine. But only few would expect that the town boasts a large collection of contemporary art, created during 15 years of summer art symposiums. The Mikulov Art Symposium “dílna” or workshop concluded its 15th year at the weekend with an exhibition of this year’s works at Mikulov chateau.
The Pittsburgh Agreement, the treaty which founded an independent Czechoslovakia in 1918, is to go on display in Prague. The document, which was signed by the country’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, will be displayed in the Czech Senate in October. To mark an independent Czechoslovakia’s 90th anniversary, the document will be loaned from the Pittsburgh Museum of American History. It is set to be the main attraction at ‘The Road to Independence’ - an exhibition charting the building of the Czechoslovak state from 1916 to 1920.
Recently on Radio Prague we reported on the Czechs as a nation of dog-lovers: Ruth Fraňková reported about many peoples’ affection for our four-legged friends. Well, this week, in the Czech capital, many dog fans came into their own, with the return of Czech Pes Photo (Czech Dog Photo), which opened at Prague’s Josef Sudek Chamber Gallery on Tuesday. The show, now in its fourth year, parodies the prestigious Czech press photography competition known as Czech Press Photo. Traditionally it is put together by respected dog photographer Antonín Malý,
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