Čtyři dny | Four days

15th Performing Arts Festival
4+4 Days in Motion

October 15th–24th, 2010

Archa Theatre & La Fabrika & Studio ALT@-Hala 30 & the building of the former ÚLUV




Prologue to festival 2010

Dear Friends,

Detail and Memory: that, I suppose, is how we might most accurately and most succinctly summarize, in two words, this year’s festival program as well as the entire fifteen years of its existence. Looking back, I do not see the expansive factories and abandoned buildings that we discovered and brought back to life through art, nor do I see artistic ensembles and their various performances. Instead, I see just a few small, sometimes inconspicuous, details. I remember the aircraft slide at the festival bar in the formerwastewater treatment plant in Bubeneč, the poster of a woman’s breasts in an abandoned locker at the former factory in Karlín, the downpour of rain in the former dental clinic in Jungmannova Street, the chill from the melted ice on the windowsill in the former brickworks in Šárka Valley, the hysterical British artist in the former Holešovice brewery… my list of similar images could continue forever.

In one of this essays, the poet Joseph Brodsky provides an excellent description of this sensation: “Memory and art have in common the ability of choice, a sense for detail. This observation may appear flattering to art, but insulting to memory. Nevertheless, the insult in entirely deserved. Memory contains details, but not a full picture; highlights, if you will, but not the whole performance. (…) Memory most resembles a library that is alphabetically out of order and that does not contain any collected works.”

And so, although some objects from our childhood and adolescence today appear absurd, unbecoming, and alien, and are found only in antique shops or in period photographs, I trust and hope that the upcoming festival Days will help to expand and enrich your “library of memory” with the addition of the rare gift of unforgettable details and pleasant memories.

Welcome to the present!

Pavel Štorek