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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Fascinations: Lumír Hladík

The eight-millimetre films by Czech artist Lumír Hladík capture the creator's body-art and landscape events from the turn of the 1970s and 80s. These are private events with the presence of a camera, which can be viewed as authentic documentaries or as small, experimental film miniatures. It is also one of the few period film recordings within the context of Czech performance, which is historically known mainly for its photography. The screening was put together by the National Film Archive on the basis of Hladík’s newly digitised films.

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Anonymous remained anonymous
Whether Lumír Hladík was engaged with action art events in totalitarian Czechoslovakia or in Canada, he often placed his art in a forest environment. The character of a cultural landscape or, in contrast, the Canadian wilderness, influenced the topics that Hladík explores. In the action event Anonymous remained anonymous, he made a futile attempt to deanonymize a tree.  
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Anonymous remained anonymous

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1977 / 1 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
Boundary; a question without answers
Hladík's simple action art events are constructed from deeper considerations, which were often based on conversations he had had with friends and artists who sought to deviate from the limited, thematic repertoire of a totalitarian society. The realisation of artistic action events was, to some extent, an empirical verification of these dialogues. The landscape and its unspectacular, personal interventions served as a suitable terrain for Hladík’s artistic experiments.  
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Boundary; a question without answers

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1977 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
I reduced the diameter of Earth
The action art events of Czech artists in the 1970s and 1980s took place outside the realm of public art events. Their reach was purely community, and in the case of Lumír Hladík, even almost solely personal. Perhaps that is why Hladík was provoked by the idea of a "monumental" act, which was to be nothing less than an attempt to reduce the diameter of the earth.  
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I reduced the diameter of Earth

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1977 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
My personal „eternal“ vector
"I decided to become the owner of the cosmic vector." Based on this decision, Lumír Hladík performed an action event in which he inserted a boundary stone and sign with infinity symbols into the earth of the surrounding landscape, which ended up staying intact and in the same spot for the next twenty-five years. At a time when Hladík had already been living in Canada, his friend Petr Soukup filmed that very spot after having filmed all of the artist's previous action events. This particular action event took place in 1977. The film is from the second half of the 1980s.  
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My personal „eternal“ vector

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
Ritual murder of a stupid smirk
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.  
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Ritual murder of a stupid smirk

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1976 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
The mirrored sea
“One day, I came to the realisation that it had been two years since I had last seen the sea. The sea has always been a symbol of freedom. I decided that two years was long enough (from an emotional point of view), and so I went back to the sea, but this time with the intention of not actually ‘seeing’ it. I asked my friends to take me blindfolded to the shores of the Baltic Sea in East Germany along with a large mirror.” Thanks to this action event in particular, it was possible to trace Lumír Hladík’s Czechoslovak work and thereby supplement the notion of action art at the time and its unique connection to film.  
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The mirrored sea

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1980 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
The never boulder
In the second half of the 1970s, Lumír Hladík realised several action art events within the Central Bohemian Region where he grew up. However, in retrospect, he says that choosing the landscape was merely just a tool, like using a piece of paper to draw on. In these filmed recordings of Hladík’s action art, the landscape remains somewhat anonymous and only the performer's trajectories paint a theme onto it. In this case, Hladík attempted to "end" the boulder that had "provoked" him since childhood.  
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The never boulder

Lumír Hladík
Czechoslovakia / 1978 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Lumír Hladík
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