2019, video 3 min, screening at BF Artist Film Festival London UK, Marienbad Film Festival, Mariánské Lázně CZ, DAS Experimental Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY
The videoart Dialogue with the Previous by Veronika Čechmánková, in its core, touches on the ancient foundations of human culture and traditions. The symbols of bread and scythe are displayed here with emphasis on the significant variable of values that today stand in strong contrast to how they were understood in the past.
The artist, taking the form of a retro-hybrid fitness trainer with scarf and scythe equipped with bread objects, becomes a bizarre mediator of the transformation of these symbols. The subtle blue light evokes a relaxing atmosphere and the soothing medidative voice encourages careful and focuses movements in the presence of bread writing pulsating on an array of plasma screens. Veronika guides the viewers to the crucial moment where they realize the absurdity of the combination of these symbols in today’s world and start questioning the transformation of meanings and traditions.
In this case, the scythe is an anachronism, a tool that has been long obsolete, a tool that has almost no purpose in today’s society. However, the current fitness scythe used by Veronika Čechmánková can be a means that by its very nature pulls the urban man out of reality and puts him back to forgotten traditions, connection with nature, movement and manual work. It is the essence of the nature of traditional handicraft society, and, at the same time, a symbol of the desire to return to this lost innateness. On this principle, internet ads for real outdoor scything aimed at urban millennials are built.
text by Ján Gajdušek
Director, Script, Props, Actress: Veronika Čechmánková; Cinematography: Tomáš Kotas; Production, Script Cooperation: Noemi Krausová; Costume: Tereza Kanyzová; Sound: Ondřej Rozum, Kryštof Blabla Original; Music: Kryštof Blabla; Edit: Lukáš Janičík; Animation: Diana Cam Van Nguyen; 1st Camera Assistant: Ondřej Kudrna; 2nd Camera Assistant: David Tolar; Videomaster: Daniel Burda; Voiceover: Marie Tomsová;