These are stills from my filming at my Grandmother's apartment in Prague. With Anna (12 years) and Jirina (89 years) From an ongoing project exploring the interconnectedness of generations of women in my family.
Jan Švankmajer's description of his own creative process, 1985 What is your own personal definition of poetry? For me the concept of poetry coincides with imagination. And the potency of imagination for me is also an evaluative criterion for poetry, whatever its medium of expression is: i.e. a pen, a brush or touch. It is... Continue Reading →
"To use a magnifying glass is to pay attention, but isn't paying attention already having a magnifying glass?" (From Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space) Here is an excerpt from my interview about Wistman's Wood, a video installation I made in 2o11. Wistman's Wood presents unique challenges and opportunities for a film-maker. What determined your approach... Continue Reading →
An abrupt leap into geometry was typical of him. “This place exists. We both know it. Therefore we will discover it. Where? That’s a matter of calculation. I promise you that in a few days I will have determined its geographical position within several degrees. And we are ready to leave immediately…” "Here then is... Continue Reading →
Jan Švankmajer on FOOD Although we called our exhibition Food, it doesn’t mean that we consider what we do as some kind of “ nourishment for the spirit” or that we will be serving goulash in our exhibition, but because food is a short, easily comprehensible word, while the function it describes is practiced universally.... Continue Reading →
Tactility and Film Jan Švankmajer's interview, with Tereza Stehlíková 2011 1. What methods do you consciously employ in order to make your films more tactile? I have in mind both in pre-production [choice of location, experiments], production, and post-production [particular methods of editing etc]? Until my first experiments with tactile objects I was unaware about... Continue Reading →
Decalogue by Jan Švankmajer 1. Remember there is only one form of ‘poetry’. The opposite of poetry is professional expertise. Before you start making a film, write a poem, paint a picture, create a collage, write a novel, essay etc. Only by cultivating your ability for universal expression will you ensure you will produce a... Continue Reading →
Tactile artwork by the great Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. This image comes from his Dimensions of Dialogue retrospective, which took place in Prague, Dum U Zvonu, 2012/13