From time to time it is advisable to recall the past so that we can see things and events from the present time more clearly. It is a commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the foundation of the surrealistic group Lacoste in Czech Republic (the name is based on the ruins of the Marquis de Sade castle in Provence).
Lacoste originated in 1964 from the friendship of four university students, Arnošt Budík, Jiří Havlíček, Josef Kremláček (†2015) and Václav Pajurek, from their desire to develop their direction in the space of imagination and also to try to live in parallel surrealistic live. They were already captured in surrealism by artistic expressions, but they were really trying to adapt their lifestyle, as the four decades old surrealist postulates required. They realized that in a country with a prevailing ideology strictly rejecting deviations of all kinds and inadaptable individuality, this could not be easy (This is not a stylistic figure of the author of the article, but part of Josef Kremláček's later memory, 1999).
The founding members of the Lacoste group soon joined Karol Baron (†2004), František Deák and Aleš Navrátil (†2019). Three other artists, Lubomír Kressa (†1981), František Malý (†1989) and Ladislav Novák (†1999), took part in the group's as guests. Lacoste cooperated with foreign surrealist groups. She had the most inspiring contacts with the Brussels-based C.I.A.F.M.A., creative group, and with the famous Parisian group André Breton, the main representative and theorist of surrealism. In 1924 he wrote the Manifesto of Surrealism, died in 1966.
In the Manifest Breton writes, among others: Surrealism is a pure psychic automatism through which the real functioning of thought should be expressed, orally, in writing or in any other way. Dictation of thought in the absence of any control exercised by reason, beyond any aesthetic or moral consideration. Surrealism is based on a belief in the higher reality of certain forms of association until its time of neglected, in the omnipotence of a dream, in an impartial play of thought. It aims to finally eliminate all other psychological mechanisms and take their place in solving the major problems of life.
The Lacoste Group has held a number of exhibitions. Until 1969, she published a bulletin entitled Styx, still available in libraries at some of the Western European cultural centers. The frenzied activity of the Lacoste Group, as well as the members' dream of freedom, was interrupted on August 21, 1968 and its political and cultural consequences. The last Lacoste exhibition in Czechoslovakia was held in 1971 in Třebíč, with the participation of nearly two dozen guests, the last ever one year later in Copenhagen, Denmark. A selection of works by Lacoste members returned to Třebíč after twenty-eight years, in 1999 (without Fr. Deák and Fr. Malý). Most of his works were created during the years of the group's activities. But it was not a balance, "just" a remarkable reminder of a fragment of the Moravian (with the participation of Karol Baron and Slovak) art scene in the second half of the 60s.
In 1994 the Moravian part of the Karel Teiga Society ceased to exist in Ostrava. Its members and the founding members of the already non-existent Lacoste group (without Jiří Havlíček, who has chosen the status of occasional guest) will be founded in independent terms by a new surrealist group called Stir up. She agreed with the program of the Karel Teiga Society and with the former tradition of the Lacoste group. Twelve years later, in the spring of 2006, Lubomír Kerndl, a painter, sculptor and polygraph, one of the representatives of Stir up, acquired the former Mohelský Mill on the left bank of the lower reach of the Jihlava River. The reconstruction of three compact floors resulted in the Devil's Tail Gallery (Devil's Tail is a historical name for the nearby river meander) attributed to the Stir Up Group. This year, for the fourteenth year, it has been serving exhibitions of works by group members and guests from us and abroad. The curators are Lubomír Kerndl and Václav Pajurek. Under Kerndl's editorial leadership, the Styx newsletter was renewed, with a new Styxus title.
The claim that the Gallery Devil's Tail is the target of a cohort of Surrealism annually would be inappropriate. However, all real visitors deserve respect. If contemporary visual art is not for everyone, the second sentence must follow that even with the uniqueness of creative ideas and beauty often hidden, surrealism is a goal only for the initiate. But those who come to the Mohelno Mill, if they can be judged from the cloaked inscriptions in the "hideously" realistic guestbook and from verbal opinion, consider the Devil's Tail Gallery homeland. And there is his, the devil's tail, the cross-border dimension. It reaches to European, North American, Central American and South American studios and creative corners. From here, often through Arnošt Budík's contacts, contemporary Surrealism from the world comes to Czech Republic. Privately, with friendly confidence. And in Belgium, Portugal, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and elsewhere, the work of the members of the Stir up group and its Moravian guests can be seen reciprocally, because some surrealists from some countries have become friends.
The Lacoste group lasted eight years, 1964-1972. Its founding members today: PhDr. Arnošt Budík, born 1936, art historian, theoretician of surrealism, poet, collageist, member of the surrealist group Stir up, since 1969 living in Brussels. Doc. PhDr. Jiří Havlíček, born 1946, art historian, painter and graphic artist, university lecturer. Academic painter Josef Kremláček, born 1937, painter, graphic artist, illustrator, teacher, former member of the surrealist group Stir up, died in summer 2015 in Třebíč. PhDr. Václav Pajurek, born 1944, art historian, painter, sculptor, poet, guru of the surrealist group Stir up, curator.
Agulha Revista de Cultura
UMA AGULHA NO MUNDO INTEIRO
Número 149 | Janeiro de 2020
Artista convidado: Lubomír Kerndl (República Checa, 1954)
Editor convidado: Jan Dočekal
Número especial dedicado ao Surrealismo na República Checa
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