26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Ritual murder of a stupid smirk

Ritual murder of a stupid smirk

director: Lumír Hladík
original title: Rituální vražda pitomého úsměvu
country: Czechoslovakia
year: 1976
running time: 4 min.


The action art event Ritual murder of a stupid smirk was one of Hladík's few performances to have taken place in his own apartment. The short reveals the artist's interest in the everyday symbolism of small artifacts that can provoke him so much that he decides to destroy them. Such a fate befell a wooden jester puppet on display in a toy shop window near Hladík's apartment at the time.



Since 1981, Lumír Hladík has lived in Canada where he creates works on the border between conceptual art, action art, drawing, and video. However, the beginnings of his work date back to the 1970s when action art was created on the margins of the Czech art scene. Lumír Hladík was an active member in the body art circle alongside Petr Štembera, Jan Mlčoch and Karel Miler, but he bonded more with his friend Jiří Kovanda through the civility of his own action art. Hladík was among the few who actually documented his action art through film, with many of the events taking form as temporary interventions within the landscape. These recordings, which were originally shot on 8 mm colour film, were recently digitised in the National Film Archive and accompanied with the artist’s own explanations.

more about film

director: Lumír Hladík
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy