KURT GEBAUER'S FIREWORKS OF IDEAS
02. July 2021
"When the absurd occupation, and normalisation, arrived, I did my best to make fun of it. I set up my own state, Gebauer, with its own anthem, agriculture, and so on. It was a response to the official state – they were such monstrously weird people. I couldn't identify with such leaders," remembers the spirited sculptor, Kurt Gebauer.
In the eighth episode of the documentary series Art in Isolation, he returns to the unpleasant experience of August '68, an inspiring study visit to France, and a distressing return to his homeland. "Carrying out projects in public space is tough because then you've got something to take care of for your whole life," concludes with a smile the author of the famous Minikrajina (Minilandscape), a dream playground he created in the Ostrava housing estate Fifejdy in 1985.
Why Art in Isolation?The artistic activity took a strong hit. Exhibitions began to get canceled, various regulations affected direct interaction with colleagues, spectators, and the world stage. Questions about the meaning of art, an artist's mission, and boundaries of freedom emerged yet again. The testimonies of the artists who were creating their art during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia are an important memento of a time gone by and an inspiration for the search for meaningful answers in the present. With or without the crisis.
The stories of artists in the time of totality carry on. You can look forward, among other things, to the stories of Květa Pacovská, Kurt Gebauer, Tomáš Císařovský and others. You can watch each episode on social media and web platforms of the two associated institutions, Kunsthalle Praha & Post Bellum–Memory of Nations.
Kurt Gebauer (*1941) is a fundamental author of Czech sculpture of the last half-century. Capturing the poetry of the everyday without theatrical gestures, his mainly figurative works illustrating human stories became popular. His work is inextricably linked to public space - sculpturally and architecturally, he regards his role as "municipal sculptor". After the regime's fall, he eventually became the head of the legendary "All Sculpture Studio" and educated the next generation of sculptors.