Last week the Czech National Museum launched a new exhibition called New Czech Fables (or New Czech Myths) at the Kinský summer palace, located at the edge of Prague’s Petřín Hill. The show examines urban legends, sayings, social rituals and counter-culture movements in the former Czechoslovakia as well as present-day Czech Republic. In this week’s Arts, Radio Prague takes a closer look.
In our increasingly globalised world, cross-cultural musical collaborations are becoming ever more common, and you couldn’t find a better example of this trend than the work of Pedro Rodriguez. A DJ, producer and rapper whose passport reads Petr Kulíšek, he has forged a unique partnership between Cuban and Czech musicians with a project named La Conexion.
Fans of Czech comic books or series have a fascinating new tome to pore over, the just released Encyklopedie komiksu (The Comics Encyclopaedia). The book covers series and strips published in Czechoslovakia between the years 1945 to 1989. Under the Communists, the art form was largely frowned upon as a Western one, but continuing series were regularly published on the back page of ABC, a long-running science magazine aimed at young readers, still published today.
Radio Prague’s literary connections go back over seventy years, starting even before the Second World War. Well known writers like Arnošt Lustig, Lenka Reinerová or Benjamin Kuras have all at one time worked here. And the tradition continues. Pavla Horáková, known to many Radio Prague listeners as the voice of our letters programme Mailbox, has just had a novel for children published with glowing reviews. She is David Vaughan’s guest in this week’s Czech Books.
Langhans photographic gallery is currently celebrating the 130th anniversary since the original studio, which became the most famous in the country, was founded in the centre of Prague in 1880. A fraction of the million and a half negatives that were built up there over the following seven decades now forms a valuable pictorial archive which is still being worked on and conserved for the future by a specially created foundation. We look at the archive, ongoing restoration and future plans.
This week saw the opening of a major exhibition in Prague of the work of the great 17th century Bohemian painter Karel Škréta, a show being held at two separate venues: the Wallenstein and Prague Castle Riding Schools, two of the capital’s best-known arts venues. The exhibition is result of extensive cooperation between the National Gallery, the Prague Castle administration, and the Prague Archbishopric and features work not only by the Czech painter but also Italian and German contemporaries. If you see only one show of Old Masters this season,
This November marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Johannes Urzidil, the Prague-born writer, poet, historian and journalist. Urzidil was a member of the so-called Prague Circle, a group of mostly Jewish German-speaking authors who met regularly in the city’s cafes in the early part years of the 20th century. While not as well known obviously as his friend and fellow author Franz Kafka, Urzidil has a firm following, and some of them gathered in Prague recently to remember his life and work.
In Prague’s Old Town, on the corner of Celetná Street and Ovocný trh, you will find the House of the Black Madonna, one of the most distinctive structures in a city known for its unparalleled mix of architectural styles. It was the first building in the rare Cubist style of architecture strongly associated with the city, and today houses a Cubist museum.
It is only every five years or so that the renowned Czech animator Jan Švankmajer brings out a new film, and the wait is now over. “Surviving Life” draws on many of Švankmajer’s traditional themes and styles while exploring them through an experimental medium, once again confirming why he is the most acclaimed Czech art house director at home and abroad.