Composer, Performer, Improvisor from the Czech Republic
by Dan Senn
Lucie Vítková is a sound artist from Blansko, a small Moravian city in the Czech Republic.
This film is a wide ranging and colorful interview taped in 2018 at the original site of Roulette Intermedium, now located in Brooklyn where Lucie was in-residence at the time while premiering her works OPERA and Spectacle.
This is one of three documentaries made of Czech sound artists interviewed for "Three Czech Sound Artists" documentary. The subjects, Lucie Vítková, Jakub Rataj, and Jiří Suchánek, are all sound artists with advanced music degrees, but are vastly different in their individual approaches to time-based art. Lucie's works tend toward musical theatre, dance, the use of found objects and may be considered an extention of the fluxus movement. Jakub is a composer of complex music scores with deep European roots, who deftly uses electronics, dancers, sound sculpture and film, etc. Jiří's works extend from the concert stage, himself a performer, to large public art works reminscent of the German-American Trimpin—an inventor of elaborate high tech kinetic instruments.
Therefore, four versions of these interview materials exist: "Three Czech Sound Artists presenting these artists in tandem and then in stand alone documentaries for each artists.
— "I generally work alone, even in documentary film, transferring the
practice of composing solo in my studio, and presenting live sound and
video performances, to an otherwise collaborative medium. The downside
of this approach is the heaviness of the load and a loss of the
benefits of community discourse. The upside is a process I am at ease
with, that is, self dependency, and a disciplined focus that enables me
to interview subjects while working simultaneously behind the camera, a
mutual detachment that I cognitively benefit from. Working alone also
enables work with fewer budgetary concerns.
"Three Czech Sound Artists" was born out of a curiosity in the points of “astonishing interruption” in a person’s life. My life as an artist started with a sudden death of a sibling causing me to heed an inner voice to "do what is difficult”, what frightened me and so I wondered "Were moments like this common amongst other artists? What about those with roots in the communist system of the Czech Republic?” Therefore, I set out to find the answer by interviewing three talented young Czech artists with whom I had worked and what I learned was that none of them were able to point to a specific “Paulian” event that caused them to move into the arts or specifically, experimental art. Even so, each artist, at some juncture, had been confronted with the question, "Am I going to live fully or just as expected?" Each expressed an overwhelming desire to think their own thoughts and to individuate. So, I set out to sate my inquisitiveness by interviewing these three, all of whom I had come to know in my Prague media festival, Echofluxx." DS, Prague, 2018
Dan Senn, the director and producer of these films, is an interdisciplinary artist working in experimental music composition, video, and sound sculpture but also makes documentary films usually with little, if any, assistance from others. He is the director of the Echofluxx media festivals in Prague and co-founder of Roulette Intermedium in New York City and lives in Prague, The Czech Republic, and Watertown, Wisconsin. Dan has directed and produced “The Exquisite Risk of Civil War Brass”, "A House on Jungmanova” and “Voices of Theresa”.
The photo banner above is of Lucie at the original performance space for Roulette Intermedium in New York City. Click image for a higher rez version.