Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR Institute of Czech literature of the CAS
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Art – Gesture – Argument

In an international interdisciplinary project called Art – Gesture – Argument, we approach artistic production during the First Czechoslovak Republic in various disciplines (literature, fine arts, theatre, film, music, etc.) from the perspective that artistic experience and interest are formed collectively. We focus in particular on the way art shapes public discourse and, conversely, how public debate intervenes in artistic poetics and form. One of our central aims is to conceptualise the notion of the event, public discussion, work and reception, and their mutual interactions. We are inspired here by theories of art and culture as forms of social practice: at once the catalyst and result of social processes. Combining synthesis and analysis, the project is created in close cooperation with researchers from the Institute of Art History of the CAS and Institute of Slovak Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and brings together the work of forty collaborators from various fields in the humanities.

The main output of the project will be four thematically discrete book parts covering the entire twenty years of the First Czechoslovak Republic:

Zem spieva (‘The country sings’), focusing on the emerging ideology of ‘Czechoslovakism’ and other issues concerning national identity

Editor: Marie Brunová

Odjezd na Kythéru (‘Departure to Kythér’), focusing on the concept of revolution, and tracing the artistic gestures of the constructivist and poetic avant-garde

Editor: Martin Lukáš

Obyčejný život (‘Ordinary life’), focusing on pragmatism, traditionalism, and everyday life

Editor: Lukáš Holeček

Lidé na kře (‘People on the iceberg’), focusing primarily on representations of the ‘Great Crisis’ in interwar Czechoslovak art

Editor: Kateřina Piorecká

Funded by:
Duration: 1. 1. 2022 – 31. 1. 2025