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Zbyněk Baladrán

Contemporary criticism regards Zbyněk Baladrán as an underground archivist operating within the ruins of the utopia of former Czechoslovakia following the fall of communism. Baladrán is a member of that generation of Czech artists who arrived on the scene around 2000 and tend to work with the concepts of the archive, of the document, of Foucault’s archaeology of knowledge, of the diagrammatic recording of reality and of the audiovisual field, as well as with other concepts that represent a different, updated version of reality. This version, characterized by its fragmentary nature, opens up new possibilities of interpretation. The concept of the “archaeological field” is a defining metaphor for the images and the fragments thereof that surface. For Baladrán, the large number of amateur family films, newsreels and documentary films made from the 1930s to the present day, as well as documents, texts and manifestos of the 20th century avant-garde, have become an archaeological field. These are subjected to critical analysis, though at the same time space is created for a complex of emotions linked with the expectation of its realization. The aim is not to reconstruct the fragments into their original form, but to make possible new narratives to emerge and to explore temporal, spatial and semantic coordinates.

 

J.S.

1973, Praha / CZ, at that time ČSSR

 

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