Video Archive of the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts
The Video Archive of the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts (VVP AVU) is the only Czech institution which specialises in video art and video documentation of Czechoslovak and Czech art, both prior to and after 1989.
U Akademie 4, 170 22 Praha 7, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
- Video Archive of the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts
Provenance and cultural activities
The Video Archive of the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 2007 (The Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts – VVP AVU was founded in 1997) as part of the academic research at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. The collection is built around research or curatorial work conducted by the employees. Although VVP AVU was founded by Jana and Jiří Ševčíkovi (prominent figures in pre-1989 unofficial cultural life), the foundation of the Video Archive was initiated by Václav Magid, a contemporary Czech Artist in reaction to the fact that film medium is not covered by any other institution. Since 2012 the archive cooperates with the online television Artyčok.tv where works from the archive are made public.
Video art and video documentation of art events was quite rare in the pre-1989 period, however there is a number of interesting works that were overlooked before. The film material is quickly aging and often it is hard to find a machine that is able to work with older material. Thus, even artists themselves often forget that they have some film material. The Archive works on preservation of this material by making digital copies.
From the very beginning, any examples of Czech (Czechoslovak) video art and documentation of art projects that were connected to visual art were included in the collection. Nowadays, it covers both contemporary examples as well as pre-1989 works. Based on the interview, we can say that works from the time preceding 1989 may be understood as examples of counter-culture, as they were made by those in opposition to the official culture. Moreover, experiments in new mediums were not appreciated by the official cultural figures.
Even though cultural opposition is not a criterion for collectors, still most of the works fit this definition. The employees of the archive understand counter-culture in its broadest sense as an activity that did not follow the official understanding of culture (body art, action art, land, etc.). Still we may even find examples of official culture, for example, a recording of works made by a Czechoslovak artist for the Iranian Shah and sold by the official institution Artcentrum.
Description of content
The Collection owns works ranging from the 1950s to the present day. Art made before 1989 has a minority role in the collection. The video documentation of art as well as video performance is sometimes hard to define. Some included tapes are pure experiments with the medium, others are a serious attempt to document art events. The collection as a whole owns more than 2000 works. Most of the works were made after 1989. The archive is used mainly by curators.
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Date of founding
Place of founding
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Morganová, Pavlína, Terezie Nekvindová, and Sláva Sobotovičová, eds. 2015. Czech Performance Art: Film and Video, 1956-1989. Prague: VVP AVU. DVD
Nekvindová, Terezie, and Sláva Sobotovičová, eds. 2013. He Who Laughts. Art about the World of Art. Praha: VVP AVU. DVD
Nekvindová, Terezie, and Sláva Sobotovičová, eds. 2011. B-movie. Porno – horror – violence– bizarreness – warped sentiment. Prague: VVP AVU. DVD
Nekvindová, Terezie, and Sláva Sobotovičová, eds. 2011. The starting point can be zero. Prague: VVP AVU. DVD
Author(s) of this page
- Lomová, Johana
"Videoart. Zábava Pro Excentriky?" Artalk.cz. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://artalk.cz/2016/06/03/videoart-zabava-pro-excentriky/.
Sobotovičová, Sláva, and Terezie Nekvindová. 2010. “Video archiv VVP AVU.” Prostor Zlín, No. 3, 36-37.
"Videooarchiv VVP AVU". Accessed September 8, 2016. http://vvp.avu.cz/videoarchiv/.
Sobotovičová, Sláva, interview by Lomová, Johana , August 31, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection