‘The Painted Bird’ at the Václav Špála Gallery
From 12 September, Václav Marhoul’s film ‘The Painted Bird’ will be shown at cinemas across the Czech Republic. One day earlier, an exhibition of photographs called ‘The Painted Bird’ will be open at the iconic Václav Špála Gallery in Prague. The collection will include black and white photographs by Jan Dobrovský, accompanied by photographs by Luděk Hudec and Jakub Čech, which were taken during the filming of this feature movie. However, the exhibition is not trying to tell the story of the film, nor to promote it. The curator of the exhibition is Pavel Lagner.
The Painted Bird | Jan Dobrovský, Jakub Čech, Luděk Hudec
11 September – 20 October 2019, private view on Tuesday 10 September at 6 p.m.
exhibition curator | Pavel Lagner
The Václav Špála Gallery is operated by PPF Art.
As a photographer, Jan Dobrovský was present on-site, throughout the filming period from spring 2017 to summer 2018 in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. The remarkable making of this film and its extraordinarily powerful tale were a great inspiration also for one of the movie’s sound crew member, Jakub Čech, and for Luděk Hudec, who edited the final cut of the film.
Although all the photographs were taken in the film’s artificially created world, they are not just a record of the film’s production. Jan Řehák, the director of PPF Art, which manages the Václav Špála Gallery’s exhibition programme, said: “Although the photography exhibition has the same name as the book and the film, we agreed to hold it precisely because the way in which art is perceived varies according to the type of medium. By watching a film, the audience watches as the story unfolds. However, in a gallery, viewers can pause before each photograph and process it and what it means for them for as long as they like. A moment captured in a photograph lets viewers think about the picture more deeply, providing them with the luxury of time to process their perceptions and emotions, or to even use their imagination to invent a new story.”
About the film ‘The Painted Bird’
A renowned and experienced Czech film producer and director, Václav Marhoul based his film on the first and best-known novel by Jerzy Kosiński (1933 Lodž – 1991 New York). The Painted Bird (1965) tells the story of a young Jewish boy’s struggle to survive in rural Poland and Ukraine during World War II. In seeking to protect him from the mass extermination of the Jews, his parents sent him to stay with his aunt in the countryside. However, after she dies he is left to wander alone through the countryside, where he is confronted with fear, scorn and cruelty simply because he is different.