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campaign image Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding

Exhibtion, films, talks & events

Jan Svankmajer

The Alchemical Wedding

exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

This is the first major retrospective of his bizarre and dark films and sculptures in the Netherlands. Also on show in the exhibition are a large selection of his tactile objects, collages, prints and sick maps. At Eye Švankmajer’s films will be screened and various talks and events will be hosted.

Steaks, pebbles, iron locks: master animator Jan Švankmajer (Prague, 1934) can bring anything to life. His films are filled with obsession, lust, horror and eroticism, all underpinned by an undercurrent of abuse of power. Eye Filmmuseum presents the exhibition Jan Švankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding devoted to the work of Czech surrealist and master animator.

exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

Watch the exhibition trailer:

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campaign image Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding

In the 1970s, the Czech sensor banned Švankmajer from making any more sinister films of this kind. Despite that, Švankmajer continued to work as a visual artist. “The only fitting answer to the cruelties of life is to ridicule them by using your imagination.” His films have echoes of the worlds imagined by Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and Edgar Allan Poe, inspiring countless filmmakers, from The Quay Brothers to Terry Gilliam.

exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut
exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut
exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

About the exhibition

The exhibition at Eye features one big installation in which numerous short films by Švankmajer are screened amidst remarkable sculptures and ‘spirited’ images, together with three Wunderkammers filled with collages, tactile objects, sick maps and ‘medium’ drawings. Švankmajer’s feature films will be screened in the cinemas at Eye.

About the artist

Jan Švankmajer (Prague, 1934) studied from 1950 to 1954 at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, and then puppetry at the Academy of Performing Arts. His fondness for film started while working in a puppet theatre. He used stop-motion for his first short film, entitled The Last Trick (1964), in which two jugglers take part in a heated contest. Švankmajer subsequently continued to experiment with puppetry, animation and avant-garde film techniques, in the process breathing new life into the genre.

portrait Jan Svankmajer

Take a virtual tour through the exhibition:

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exhibition interior Jan Svankmajer - The Alchemical Wedding (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

credits

The exhibition is curated by Jaap Guldemond in collaboration with Marente Bloemheuvel.

Director of exhibitions / Curator

Jaap Guldemond

Associate curator

Marente Bloemheuvel

Project managers

Sanne Baar, Claartje Opdam

Exhibition design

Claus Wiersma

Graphic design

Joseph Plateau

Technical production

Rembrandt Boswijk, Indyvideo, Utrecht, Bo Jansen

Installation

Syb Sybesma, Amsterdam

Light

Maarten Warmerdam, Theatermachine, Amsterdam

Looking for previous exhibitions?

Browse the archive via the link.

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