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After the Spring: Contemporary Czech and Slovak Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


19 Apr 1994 to 16 Jul 1994


Klára Bočkayová, Milena Dopitová, Filko-Fylko-Phylko, Peter Halir, Milan Knížák, Martin Knut, Jiří Kolář, Július Koller, Dušan Marek, František Skála


Marian Dzúrik & Ann Stephen

About the exhibition

After the Spring focused on the work of eight contemporary artists from the former Czechoslovakia. Their work was organised around two major events: the Prague Spring of the 1960s and the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The utopian cultural projects of 1968 were set beside recent works, made in the contemporary climate of ‘post totalitarian blues.’

Several of the artists – Jiří Kolář and Milan Knížák – were key cultural figures in the Prague Spring and well known in the West. Others like Milena Dopitova and Martin Knut were part of a new generation who were students during the tumultuous changes of 1989. Their art confronted issues of marginality, locality, identity, of a newly invented nationhood, of the legacy of the Cold War. The artists’ responses were diverse, characterised by conceptual strategies and wit, undercutting the stereotype of ‘wounded existence’ that has marred the West’s view of the culture of the Eastern Bloc.

A film festival was held in May 1994 to accompany the exhibition, featuring some of the classic films of the Czechoslovakian ‘New Wave’ as well as some contemporary releases.

Tour Itinerary

Canberra School of Art Gallery, ACT: August 1994
RMIT Gallery, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Vic: October 1994

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Julius Koller
  • Antihappening system of subjective objectivity
  • Cosmohumanist culture JK Julius Koller after Jesus Christ
  • Julius Koller asks permission to bring to your attention Permanent Mystification everywhere, always, in everything
  • Non exhibition
  • Notice of an illusionism