Responses: Kafka’s Prague by Jiří Kolář (Twisted Spoon Press)

Tears in the Fence

I bought this book because of the sequence which forms the second part – ‘crumplages’ of photographs, accompanied by quotes from Kafka – having discoveredKolář’s name online in relation to myriad forms of collage. These often gave names to ways of cutting, folding, juxtapositioning or distorting images I and many others already use in visual arts.Kafka’s Pragueis an entertaining and thought-provoking sequence, with deconstructed and re-imagined buildings, reproduced in full colour, opposite brief and elusive fragments from Kafka, often to do with death, dreams and confusion. But it isResponsesthat has enthralled me.

Kolář drew on Surrealism and Dada in his writing and visual art, although he later moved beyond and away from these influences, and much of his art he considered visual poetry. In response to the Czech regime he lived under he made silent, visual poems, but even these mute texts had to be published…

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