četvrtak, 6. ožujka 2014.

Petr Skala - A Hidden Experimenter.1969 - 1984

E, pa da su se ovakvi "likovni", apstraktni filmovi snimali u Čehoslovačkoj 1960/'80-ih... Fiju.


The National Film Archive in Prague is publishing a DVD entitled Petr Skala –  A Hidden Experimenter. This DVD, which contains Skala’s experimental films from the years 1969 to 1984, is the first ever publishing project devoted to experimental film in the Czech Republic. It is also the first in a new National Film Archive DVD series that is to include DVDs on the theme of the Czech film avant garde of the 1920s and 30s, the beginnings of Czech documentary film and a documentary record of the trial of Dr. Milada Horáková.
The works of Petr Skala defy everything that had happened in Czechoslovak cinematography from the 1960s to the 1980s. In his experiments, Skala drifted far from the mainstream into the realm of painting-oriented, abstract film, where he looked for analogies between the moving image and music. Skala’s films combine the principles of informel painting and abstract expressionism applied to the media of film. His approach was based on the manual method, i.e. on the application of artistic techniques to a scroll of raw or already exposed film – engraving, scratching, painting or drawing on it, burning holes in it or using specific chemical procedures. For Skala, each and every frame is a unique work of art. In the course of 20 years, he created over 80 films and countless variations of them in which he tried to reveal the fundamental dimensions of human existence and discuss questions of birth and death as well as the mankind‘s relationship to the external world and its position in the cosmos. Skala‘s experimental work shows a clear development, which can be divided into several interconnected stages. He has found his basic means of expression already in his early black-and-white films, in which he first used the principles of informal art. After the non-objective, markedly colourful action painting of the first half of the 1970s he began to enrich his film compositions with figurative elements. Via this approach he reached in the late 1980s the present-day stage of video art expression, in which he combines, in a slightly narrative frame, the language of abstract art with computer-processed shots of reality. All stages of Skala‘s experimenting are characterised by the creation of an immense number of variations, modifications and combinations of several basic visual motives.
Petr Skala (born 1947) is a film director who has made almost a hundred and fifty documentaries and several hundred radio programmes. In 1975 he graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, majoring in documentary film, script writing and directing. Before 1985 he had in vain sought a fulltime position in film. Skala worked as a freelancer for many institutions including Kratký film Prague. Between 1981 and 1986, he had cooperated with the Czechoslovak radio. In 1967 Skala started producing his own experimental work, adopting video as a medium in 1982. It is symptomatic for the fate of Skala‘s experimental work that its beginnings coincide almost precisely with the onset of „normalisation“ tendencies in the political climate of Czechoslovakia, which brought about decline of the country‘s official cultural life and repression of free artistic expression. In the early 1970s, at a time when any experimental or alternative tendencies in film were mercilessly stifled, the solitary effort of Petr Skala was in fact a unique and exceptional manifestation of inward artistic freedom. The outcomes of Skala‘s work were born in complete solitude and without any hope or belif that they could ever be publicly presented. Petr Skala was a pioneer of hand-made film in the former Czechoslovakia and – together with  Radek Pilař – the first creator of Czech videoart.  He has also made an important contribution to research on the computer processing of the image. Since 1993, Skala has been the chairman of  the Video and Intermedia Association of the Union of Visual Artists and also a pedagogue at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. At the 1993 Deutscher Videokunst Preis in Karlsruhe, Skala was commended as one of the 50 most important videoart works in the world.
            The DVD is structured into six parts on the basis of chronology and thematic and formal affinity. This allows the viewer to follow the individual stages in the director’s career and his inner development. It also contains bonuses in the form of a video interview with the artist and a sample of his latest video-art work. The DVD comes with a booklet containing a monographic article, theoretical analyses of particular periods in the director’s career, a biography and a complete filmography of his experimental and documentary films. 
Original footage and arrangements used in making this exclusive DVD are from the collection of the National Film Archive in Prague. - www.nfa.cz/

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