On the vons.cz site, you can find a complete electronic version of the samizdat magazine Vokno, which was published between 1979 and 1989.
The samizdat magazine was published by František Stárek together with his friends, and it was the main periodical of the cultural underground. The members of the Defense Committee of Unjustly Prosecuted People (VONS) also contributed to this magazine. In 1981, František Stárek, Ivan Jirous, Michal Hýbek and Milan Frič were arrested in connection with the publication of Vokno (while preparating the sixth – incomplete – volume). All were convicted of unconditional sentences of imprisonment. When František Stárek returned from prison, the magazine was relaunched, and the Voknoviny newsletter and video magazine resumed publication. The subtitle "Magazine for Second and Other Culture" appeared from the seventh volume onwards.
On the vons.cz page, you can find the complete digitized version of Vokno, including all fourteen samizdat volumes. The originals are stored at the library Libri prohibiti.
“Self-Identification” is a performance and a series of photomontages in which a naked female figure enters the public space of Warsaw; she waits in a line, walks on a crowded street, or stands in front of a uniformed female police officer controlling the traffic.
The action comprised leaving the gallery space naked and going to the representative Old Town. There, by the locally well-known Palace of Weddings, the performer joined a group of wedding guests and groomsmen cheering after the ceremony. As Museum of Modern Art explains, thus the artist confronted the institution of marriage determining one of the core elements of femininity seen as a paradigm of personality made up by patriarchal culture.”
During the vernissage of the photomontages Ewa Partum, naked, read out to the audience a feminist manifesto, in which she denounced the inequality of prestige of men and women in the art world.
In the catalogue for the exhibition, whose print was withheld for years by the censorship office, Partum wrote about the “cultural and social status” of women “understood as a kind of sum of roles, a model born out of tradition (...) a certain set present in social awareness.” She calls this “role model of a woman” a “product of patriarchal culture”, which “impairs women while maintaining appearances of respect for her”.The webpage also informs us about the contemporary reception of the exhibition by the authorities and the audience: “Some of the photographs/collages could not be displayed due to the censorship, e.g. a picture of naked artist in front of a governmental building. Upon the opening of the exhibition there was risk of it being accused of pornography and nihilism. Ordinary passers-by reacted with indignation: «we’re not in Africa».”
- Warszawa Pańska 3, Poland
- Charakteringas eksponatas:
Grandma Tells a Tale (poplar, acacia, 80x50x37 cm, 1975)
The point of departure of the sculptures of Géza Samu is often an abandoned object of rural origins, which he then reinterprets with sculptural means. Grandma Tells a Tale, a wooden sculpture, is also built around the form of a traditional piece of peasant furniture, a milking stool. This is then augmented with simple, playfully assembled carved forms, thus becoming anthropomorphic and evoking the figure of the grandmother in an emblematic way. The assembly of the elements, which are made out of different types of wood, rewrites the theme in a surprising way, moving away both from folk woodcarving traditions and sculptural conventions and elevating the composition into a dreamy state. The sculpture seems to be traditionalist and experimental at the same time.
Pop culture, mediation, gender roles, and the image of the self were the basic motifs of Péter Sarkadi’s art in the late 1970s. He analysed the image of the star in his compositions: on the one hand, he performatively personified the character (using makeup even in normal life situations), while on the other hand he photographed and then drew or painted them in a distancing, hyperrealist manner.
Rainbow belongs to the series of these works. In this composition, the black and white photograph is directly blown onto the canvas, together with its attributes (perforation, brand), emphasizing the mediating process. The protagonist’s jewellery shimmers, while his flowing makeup is counterpointed with the colorful painted rainbow motif over the eyes.
Performances were a common amusement at the Estonian Student Building Brigade (ESBB). This draft was written for a production in 1982 ending a meeting of groups. The title of the production was Eesti Pidu (Estonian Party), and the scenario hints, among other things, at the lack of groceries in Soviet Estonia, which paradoxically did not stop people giving lavish parties. This was made possible by having the right acquaintances, or by using other clever practices. These topics could not be discussed openly, but it was possible to express them during the working summers of the ESBB. Thus, this scenario is a good example of the societal free space which the ESBB offered students.
- Tartu Nooruse 3, Estonia 50411
- Charakteringas eksponatas: