From the Ostrava cycle. Title: The KSČ mentality (Czech Communist Party) - the wealth of man.
photo: Viktor Kolář, 1981. Courtesy of Moravská Galéria
Communism in black and white The Morava Gallery in Brno has used the 10th anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution to exhibit a sample of its thousands of archived photographs taken by both Czech and Slovak photographers since the Second World War. Though the main photo exhibit on the subject is now closed, it is still possible to browse through and buy more than a dozen compilation books on the subject.
One of the finest buys in the gallery bookshop is the 100 Sk catalogue of a September gallery exhibition called My - 1948-1989 (Us - 1948-1989), which includes more than 450 black and white pictures snapped by Czech and Slovak amateur and professional photographers. Also available is a book of photographs by wonderful Czech photographer Jindřich Štreit, entitled "Confiscated Pictures," which shows pictures of village life under communism which were confiscated by police authorities until after 1989.
The gallery is also peddling an interesting retrospective collection called Letem Světem: 1898-1998 (the title means "flight around the world"). The book features a wide range of black and white pictures of the Czech countryside, towns and villages. Pictures from a century ago are displayed next to modern shots of the same objects taken by Prague art school graduates Jaroslav Bárta, Zděnek Helfert, Daniela Horníčková and Ivan Lutterer. Photos are taken from the same location, position, in the same season and at the same time of day, and show how drastically things have changed. The pictures from 1898 were taken by professional photographers and were published then by the J.R.Vilímek publishing house under the title "The Czech World of 1898."
Morava Gallery Photo Archives. Pražákov Palace, Husova 18, Brno. Open Wed.-Sun., 10:00-18:00.
1974. Underground C.
photo: Pavel Štecha, Courtesy of Moravská
Rock, swing and jazz
During the winter, Vienna's popular Wien Stadthalle will play host to many international music stars. Here's a short list of upcoming events:
Bryan Adams - October 30. Tickets are for 540 ATS (seats).
Cher - November 30. Tickets are for 855 ATS (seats).
Joe Cocker - December 13. Tickets are for 480 ATS (standing and seats).
Joe Zawinul - October 27. Tickets are for 30-1.900 ATS. At Theater an der Wien.
Wien Stadthalle, Vogelweid-platz 14 and Theater an der Wien, Linkenwienzeile 6. Tickets are available at Tel.: 0043 1 79 999 79, from Mon.-Fri., 8:00-20:00, and Sat. 9:00-17:00.
Vienna also offers music for pop-averse listeners at the Wiener konzerthaus. The musical cycle is dubbed Modern Vienna (Wien Modern): Rituals and Mythos from Europe, Asia and America. The Swing and Jazz entry is called 'Round Midnight,' and features the music of the Ron Carter Quintet. It can be taken in at Konzerthaus Vienna, Grosser Saal (Big Room). Tel.: 00431 712 12 11. Tickets go for 200-560 Austrian schillings. November 12 at 19:30.
World Press Photo 1999
Until November 7, Vienna hosts the best of 38,836 photos taken by 3,733 world press photographers. Pálffy Palace, Joseph Platze 6, open daily 10:00-18:00. Tel.: 00431 51 25 68 10. Ends November 7.
photo: Roman Muselík, 1987. Courtesy of Mora
Brecker jazzes up Lucerna
The Michale Brecker Band plays at Lucerna Music Bar in early November. Someone once labelled tenor-saxophonist Michale Brecker as "a white Charlie Parker." Still alive and kicking, Brecker gives a gig in the comfortably cheesy Lucerna Music Bar, which is part of this year's AghaRta Prague jazz festival. The taller half of the famous Brecker Brothers duo, Michale played alongside such stars as Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Paul Simon. Brecker's combo for his Prague gig included Larry Goldings, Adam Rodgers and Idris Muhammad. Lucerna Music Bar, Vodičkova 36, Tel.: 4202 24 21 71 08. November 8, starts at 21:00.
Prague's famous National Gallery is holding an exhibition of 13 Gothic masterpieces. Some original works painted in 1499 by Hans Raphon, a contemporary of Lucas Cranach, were smuggled out of Germany by monks fleeing the 30 Years War. The current exhibition, called 500 Years of the Passion Altar of Gottingen, shows what pieces survive, and they are as inspiring today as they were when first unveiled. National Gallery, Sternberg Palace, Hradčanské náměstí 15, open daily except Mon., 10:00 to 18:00. Tel.: 420 20 51 45 99. Ends January 31.
From the Summer People cycle.
photo: František Dostál, 1975. Courtesy of Moravská Galéria
Italian designers rule the roost
The Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest offers visitors a glimpse of Italy's contribution to 20th century design of everyday implements. The exhibition is on loan from the Italian Museum of Industrial Design in Milan, and presents 100 objects of Italian industrial design in four categories identified by the museum: The Post-War Period (1945-1960), the Boom Years (1960-1970), the Years of Conflict (1970-1980) and the Years of Hedonism, which according to the organisers is the era in which we now live. The motto of the exhibit is "Form Follows Function," and, as proof, the museum shows an Olivetti typewriter from 1945, or a Lambretta motorcycle from 1946.
Museum of Applied Arts, IX.Ulloi út 33-37, open Tues.-Sun., 10:00-18:00, ends November 7. Tel.: 0361 217 52 22.
Fiddler in the café
Concerts of Russian Jewish and Gypsy music are performed nightly by the musical groups Kuzmir, Wieczorny Dzwon and Hohme at Café Ariel in Old-Town Krakow. The café features Jewish cuisine, and an original (and much worn) pre-war interior decor.
Cosy atmosphere and live concerts starting daily from 20:00. Ariel Café, ul. Szeroka 17, Tel.: 048 12 421 38 70, email@example.com.
They've got Gall
The Culture of St. Gall Abbey is an exhibition featuring the hermitage of St. Gall, the legendary Benedictine monk whose religious retreat became one of the most important centres of European medieval thought. The display of maps, models and facsimiles is complemented with historical information. International Cultural Centre, Rynek Glówny 25, open Tues.-Sat., 11:00-17:00, Sunday 11:00-16:00. The exhibition will run until January, 2000.