Friday, May 5, 2017

Aktual Czechoslovakia Schmuck

Milan Knížák [guest editor]
Aktual Czechoslovakia Schmuck 
Cullompton, UK: Beau Geste Press, 1974.
[60] pp., 30 x 21 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

The Czech artists’ group Aktuální umění (Actual Art) was founded in the early sixties for the purpose of publishing journals of radical art and ideas, something illegal at the time in Czechoslovakia. They would publish manifestos, translations of international texts and small art periodicals which would bypass the censorship of the newsstand and even postal system by circulating among friends.

For the fourth issue of Schmuck, Milan Knížák collected materials on behalf of the group which he had founded with Jan Mach, Vít Mach, Sonia Švecová, Jan Trtílek and Robert Wittmann. The word 'art' had been dropped from their name by 1966, and the group became known as Aktual.

In the issue Knížák wrote of his belief that artists should do more than simply make objects:

"What is a result? Is a picture a result of a painter, a sculpture of a sculp- tor, a book of a writer, etc.???? I don’t consider these things to be results, but only means – only a kind of bridge between the one who talks and the one who is listening. To me, the results are changes in the everyday life of every person who is affected by these things."

The issue feature Texts, Photos, Drawings, Ideas by Sona Svecova, as well as contributions frmo Helena Popisilova, J. Patocka, P. Tichy, Zdenko Zizkova, Jan Maria Mach, V. Korejz and M. Marik.

The issue announced plans to continue the periodical as a decentralized publishing venture, with David Mayor in England and Felipe Ehrenberg in Mexico.

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