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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Wedding Present

Author
Kohout Milan
Year
1983
Technique and size

performance, camera Jiří Dvorský

About work

PLZEN, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, PERFORMANCE RECORDED ON SUPER 8MM (SOUND) FILM, LOCATED IN A LARGE FIELD OUTSIDE THE CITY, CAMERA JIRI DVORSKY, (NATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL (NOVE ZAMKY-1985) FIRST PRIZE) SVATEBNI DAR (A WEDDING PRESENT)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av8ItBFr1Ww


The performance in this film is a meditation on how the Czechs concern for their children was often manipulated by the totalitarian government. It is about two principles. The first is the keen contrast between the strong and colorful rhetoric of the voice on the soundtrack and the great simplicity of the black & white horizontal composition. The voice exhorts us toward the great achievements we dream of in our youth, while the composition is limited to a family together in a barren field (the man is washing diapers). The second principle is repetition. After the young man rebels against the constraints of family life (which requires obeying the rules of totalitarian society), the same words and images repeat from the beginning of the film. Just as the audience is becoming uncomfortable, the repetition is broken at the point where the young man is sitting in the chair reading totalitarian government newspapers. His outline recedes into the distance (he is becoming smaller and smaller), while the voice questions, "Why don't you go on?" The structure, proportion, and realization of the film correspond here correctly with the subject of the film, an allegory about youthful enthusiasm, rebellion against the status quo, and forced resignation. 

 

Milan Kohout

Photo

Photo author : author´s archive
Note
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av8ItBFr1Ww
Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2018
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