Zahradní Ateliér / Garden Atelier




Relevance in a European Context / required topic of the  ICCM Salzburg 1996 - selection/

The International Festival of Contemporary Arts with  Spiritual Orientation FORFEST this year its 7th annual. The aim of the Festival is to mark out in the program those tendencies of Czech and world-wide art, which in themselves bear the elements of the new spiritual charge and which are capable of recomposing on high level the split picture of the postmodern time. The Festival is organized by the Artistic Initiative ,under the auspices of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and further leading institutions home and abroad. The European art virtually seems to seek for its lost identity. The end of the post-modern art strongly stigmatized one whole generation – unfortunately not always in a positive way. To get a pluralist and historical overlook – we often be the loser in the form of disorientation of value. In all areas of creative activities the loss of direction and of shape can be felt. The way out of this area of nobody will not be simple and obviously it will require a lot of energy and time.  The International Festival FORFEST promotes the idea of European cooperation already as a member of European Conference of New Music / Amsterdam /. The attention of the Festival is focused on contemporary music and creative art scene, which tries to solve the problem of return of spiritual contents in contemporary art. The view angle of dramaturgy purposefully observes the latest creations of art in a rather broad spectrum from experimental attempts to works of renowned artists.  The only common criterion are sophisticated artistic communication and actuality in relation to the contemporary development of the spiritual culture. This seems to become a typical feature of our festival. The festival Colloquium „ Spiritual Streams in Contemporary Arts“, which is held every two years , links up with experimental studios of the past years and is prepared as a sequel of lectures, accounts, meditations which introduce some new possible views at the relation of contemporary art and spiritual life. The present music and creative art scene meets with prejudices in the sacral and spiritual area. The Colloquium is supposed to create a space for an exchange of opinions, to introduce a new spiritual dimension of these questions. In the past centuries Church and Art used to have much in common as supra-censorial, irrational base always was a fertile soil for emotional creations, inspiration and intuitive anticipation of reality – so typical with great saints and creative artists. Art history of recent decades confirm and reflect secular desire of man to achieve a superior order. One of the most significant ambitions of the festival is to inspire and enable the origin performance of profound works with spiritual or philosophical orientation. As a typical example of this aim can serve this year introduction of a world premiere of Apologetica by the American composer Daniel Lentz, which was performed at the opening concert of the 7th annual of the festival. The concert was assisted by the Czech ensembles and the Czech TV. The work was composed 1992-95. As an inspiration to it was all-human theme again : devouring of ancient   civilizations by a new / more violent one /, genocide of American Indians after the invasion of the Spain conquerors. In addition to the universal content which links several nearly contradictory worlds – the culture of original inhabitants of the American continent with European form, imbued with overlooking of multimedia experience. The composition of Lentz raises uneasy questions on the sense of stabilized values of the European civilization. Our time seems to be ripe for a certain revaluation not only on the artistic but even on ethical level. The postmodern art ended in leading nowhere, and this due both to lacking of shape and lacking of definiteness. Its indisputable boon-pluralistic co-existence of multicultural world-perishes in imitating of received stimulations. The shifting in perceiving European and world wide activities in art obviously is permanent. Apparently one tendency will never prevail in art. However if we really are to meet – be it in any communicative level – we must try to risk our lives once more. In this way the recovery of the within in contemporary art need not only be an illustrative matter. It is not even necessary to reassume national roots. Revived chauvinism and racial and religious intolerance clearly say that this leads to nowhere... In today gradually coalescing Europe superiority stops to be important and that be it in any way – on the contrary the most significant becomes the values which can not be substituted by anything. The question of option not according to the power or size, but according to originality and genuineness of ideas.


Václav Vaculovič