In this week’s Arts my guest is New York-based landscape architect Martin Barry who last year launched a new festival and conference in Prague called reSITE, focussing on urbanism and rethinking the public space. To this aim, he and organisers involved everyone from internationally recognised designers and urban planners, to students of arts and architecture, and last, but not least, politicians.
A much-anticipated exhibition of posters by the Czech Art Nouveau master Alfons Mucha has just opened its doors at the grand Municipal House in central Prague. The collection, which belongs to the Czech-born tennis legend Ivan Lendl, is the largest in the world and is being shown publicly for the first time ever.
The Prague-based Days of European Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In addition the usual program of thought-provoking films from all over Europe, the organizers have introduced a new section of the festival and will hold special events in Prague to celebrate. The festival is starting this week, so for today’s In Focus Radio Prague caught up with the program coordinator, Zdeněk Blaha, and asked him about the highlights planned for this anniversary year of the festival:
This week Radio Prague’s Sunday music show profiles Jana Vérova - a young musician whose music is both raw and poetic and deeply rooted in her place of birth –the former Sudetenland. Although she has recorded just one album she regularly plays at festivals around the country and has a strong following of devoted fans.
Nika Kupyrova has traversed Europe from East to West and back. Born in Ukraine and having grown up in Prague, she went on to study art in Edinburgh and Iceland. Now Nika lives and works in Vienna, and partly in Prague, creating installations and photographs of dream-like creatures and spaces. Currently, the young artist has an installation at the Windows Gallery in Vienna - the new art space of the Czech Center in Austria.
It was meant to be the pride of Brno - the town’s own astronomical clock to rival Prague’s famous Orloj and attract tourists to the Moravian metropolis. Located on the city’s Freedom Square the shiny black six-metre-tall, phallus-shaped clock has attracted praise and insults in equal measure since its unveiling two years ago. As Brno City Hall hoped, it has become the talk of the town but in a slightly different way than expected.
At a crossroads in Europe, the Czech capital has always been an international city and has attracted writers from many parts of the world. But, despite the rich historical links between the two countries going back to the 16th century and beyond, we would not normally associate modern Prague with Spain. One person who has been building literary Spanish-Czech bridges for the best part of two decades is the Prague based Spanish poet, Elena Buixaderas. She is David Vaughan’s guest in Czech Books.
A new documentary entitled Hledá se prezident (Looking for president) offers an insight into the first ever direct Czech presidential election which brought Miloš Zeman to Prague Castle. The behind-the-scenes film, which has just premiered in Czech cinemas, follows the candidates from the summer of 2012, when the campaign was just beginning, right up to the heated run-off vote in January. I spoke to the film’s director, Tomáš Kudrna, and first asked him about his choice of material that made it to the final cut.