"In Morbid Colours: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Czech Lands, 1880 to 1914", is the title of a major new exhibition which has just opened at Prague's Obecni Dum (Municipal House). The show is divided into four different sections with dramatic titles like Satanic Hallucinations and Purgatory of Death. But what exactly is "decadent art"? That's a question I put to the exhibition's curator, Otto M. Urban.
In today's One on One Jan's guest is young documentary filmmaker Linda Jablonska who has made a splash on the Czech scene with "Left, Right, Forward", a new documentary about the behind-the-scenes lives of two curious groups on the Czech political spectrum: the young conservatives and the young communists. The film is extremely engaging and at times also very funny: throughout, Jablonska maps the routines and events of both groups, from charity balls to daytrips to demonstrations, and it's no surprise the feature film took the better part of a year
The "National Theatre House" in the Moravian town of Prostejov - a centre of the Czech clothes industry - has just put some unusual items on display. The Art Nouveau house of culture, which was built in 1907, is exhibiting negligees from the early 20th century. The owners of the elegant dressing gowns are the town's residents themselves. Dita Asiedu reports:
Support Lesbiens headed by frontman Krystof Michal are one of the Czech Republic's most well-known bands which - with the exception of a major five year hiatus - have been around since the early 90s. On the occasion of their newest release "Euphony and Other Adventures" I met with Krystof Michal to discuss a bit of the band's history. Support Lesbiens - past and present - in today's Arts.
If ever you need proof that poetry can be fun and popular, the Czech Republic's annual international poetry festival "Den poezie" - or "day of poetry" offers it in abundance. The festival traditionally takes place around the birthday of the much loved 19th century Czech romantic poet, Karel Hynek Macha who was born in 1810. It offers poetry that caters to all tastes and generations, and not just from the Czech Republic. Poets from countries ranging from Romania to Chile or Israel will be here to read and talk about their poetry. One of the main organizers
Throughout 2006, Prague's Jewish Museum has been celebrating its 100th anniversary with a series of exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events. At the moment it is home to an exhibition called The Second Life of Czech Torah Scrolls. As the title suggests, the manuscripts have had an interesting history; some are being shown in the Czech capital after an absence of over four decades.
This week we look at a very fruitful literary friendship between one of the best known contemporary Czech poets, Petr Borkovec, and the Prague-based Irish poet, Justin Quinn. Not only are they good friends but they have also worked closely together, with Justin translating a great deal of Petr's work. They may come from different ends of Europe and diverse literary traditions, but in many ways the two poets are kindred spirits. Justin Quinn joins me in the studio.
Ludvik Vaculik, one of the Czech Republic's most popular authors, has a new book out, "Polepsene pesnicky," or "Improved Folk Songs." It's an absolutely unique volume, complete with a CD featuring Ludvik Vaculik singing his favorite Moravian songs. Those who know him are aware that music and folk songs are vitally important to Ludvik Vaculik, and now readers have a chance to gain an insight into how song has helped shape the identity of an author known for his very outspoken nature.