Steaks, pebbles, iron locks: master animator Jan Švankmajer (Prague, 1934) can bring anything to life. His films are filled with obsession, lust, horror and eroticism, all underpinned by an undercurrent of abuse of power. Eye Filmmuseum presents the exhibition Jan Švankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding devoted to the work of Czech surrealist and master animator.
This is the first major retrospective of his bizarre and dark films and sculptures in the Netherlands. Also on show in the exhibition are a large selection of his tactile objects, collages, prints and sick maps. At Eye Švankmajer’s films will be screened and various talks and events will be hosted.
In the 1970s, the Czech sensor banned Švankmajer from making any more sinister films of this kind. Despite that, Švankmajer continued to work as a visual artist. “The only fitting answer to the cruelties of life is to ridicule them by using your imagination.” His films have echoes of the worlds imagined by Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and Edgar Allan Poe, inspiring countless filmmakers, from The Quay Brothers to Terry Gilliam.
Image: Jan Svankmajer, Dimensions of dialogue (1982) (72dpi)