Compact archive October 19, 2007

Blob, New National Library Discusion

blob interior What started as a revolutionary architectural design has now become a full-blown political dispute …or should that be farce? Jan Kaplicky’s design for a new National Library building a few hundred metres from Prague Castle was controversial from the beginning, but the issue no longer makes everyone angry as we have entered a new level – debates.

Until yesterday it seemed there won’t be any new post-modernist Blob building of library in Prague. However, Pavel Bem in the TV Duel at TV Nova agreed with Kaplicky that there will be at least a discussion.

Kaplicky admited, for the first time, there is a possibility of lowering the “eye” of the Octopus, which height is probably the biggest problem. Bem repeated his proposal of putting the Octopus to some other place in Prague. Where, it should be selected by an expert commission where the deputies of the city, National Library, architects, and Mr. Kaplicky would sit.

blob prague There is, however, still the problem with lawyers of National Library, who “absolutely excluded” this option. If there would be a new place, there would be a new contest of the building. The other contestants would than challenge the regularity at a court.

For the complex information about Kaplicky’s library check this site


MOFFOM - Music on Film festival Prague

moffom 2007 film on music music on film festival prague.jpg

The festival is founded on the philosophy that music in all its varieties is an enormously inspiring art form that can be explored in new and interesting ways through the medium of film. All types of films (documentary, experimental and feature) are screened. Movies from around the world where the central theme is music- following the stories, that emerge as the creative energies of musicians and filmmakers, intersect.

The 4th year of Music on Film – Film on Music
MOFFOM was established in 2004 as a non-profit organization designed to bring together the community of filmmakers engaged in such production and to promote their projects to a wider public in a non-competitive, accessible and friendly festival environment. It was also determined from the start that the festival would be based in the historic center of Prague, with its headquarters proudly located in Palace Lucerna, one of the oldest functioning cinemas in Europe and a local cultural landmark.

European Premieres of several award-winning films from all around the world, including Favela Rising (Brazil, 2005), The Human Hambone (USA, 2005), Mariza and the Story of Fado (UK-Portugal, 2006), Live at the Kyttaro – Rock Scenes (Greece, 2006), On Tour With (Germany, 2006), and As Old As My Tongue: the Myth and Life of Bi Kidude (UK-Tanzania, 2006)

Live performances by Dub Cartel Sound System (UK), Anjali (UK), Banning Eyre & Papis Nyass (USA / Gambia), Omar Ka (Senegal), Loud Samba (Brazil), Cassis (Germany), Chodská vlna (CZ), Il Parto de Nuevo Pesanti (Italy), Son de Cuba (Cuba), Berg Chamber Orchestra (CZ), A Moving Sound (Taiwan), Central Asian Prague Ensemble with Bakyt Chytyrbaev (Kyrgyzstan / CZ), Jiří Pavlica and Hradią»an (CZ), Madala Kunene (South Africa), Plastic People of the Universe (CZ), Pavel Fajt (CZ) and many more

MOFFOM is based primarily in the landmark Palace Lucerna, now also cooperate closely with Kino Svetozor, the most successful and innovative art house cinema in the Czech Republic, as well as several intimate cinemas in the heart of Prague, all within walking distance of each other.

The 4th year of Music on Film – Film on Music October 18-22, 2007, Prague Lucerna, Svetozor, Vaclavske Namesti

more info HERE


Iranians showed interest for Czech tramways

Deputies of the Iran International Committee prolonged their visit of the Czech Republic, as they wanted to see Skoda factory, where the new tramways are made. “The members of Iran delegation wanted to go through the factory, see how the tramways are made, Metro trains reconstruction and locomotives construction.” The speaker of Skoda holding Radka Pistoriusova announced. She also informed there was no contract signing at the time. Skoda do not export to Iran yet.

Iran chargé d’affairs Madzid Nili said their endeavor was to find out the possibility of cooperation. It concerned mostly the new Skoda tramways.

The speaker of the Ministry of Business and Industry of CR Tomas Bartovsky accepted the Iran market is interesting for Czech Industries, however they have to respect regulations and limits embedded in OSN and EU resolutions.


Vaclav Havel stands for Kaplicky's National Library

Vaclav havel ex presiden czech republic octopus kaplicky for letna little people stupidity Vaclav Havel in his interview for Lidove Noviny Explains, why he intervened the debate, which concerns the whole Czech Republic today: the matter of “The Octopus” or “Blob”; the building of the new National Library.

The following text is a selective transcription of Vaclav Havel’s essay on this theme, given for Lidove Noviny.

I was Happy, that Prague, the city obviously so poor in interesting modern buildings (as it is behind almost all the metropolis I saw in past few years, from Bangkok, through Moscow to Leblanc) will finally get a highly interesting house continuing in the tradition of Organic architecture and reaching beyond our age by the type of its function. I was happy, that Prague panorama will get something else, and more spiritual, than just randomly placed skyscrapers.

I had the feeling that the eye of the library, blinking over the green of the park, looking to Hradcany, could stand like an embodiment of the past centuries. I was happy that the suburban taste Prague leadership, stigmatized by lobbyist concerns, could finally reach to something that could positively make a point in the history of the city.

I was happy prematurely. Averageness and banality triumph again, in the same way as triumphed in the cubics of office mass without an idea, that disfeatured Karlovo Namesti (without making any furor).

Kaplicky’s idea is irritates lots of people by the impression of certain randomness or inappropriateness of its placement. Like if this very original or certainly noticeable building could surpass its gray and basically hardly defined neighborhood. Yes, it is so. But neither the architect nor his plan are to blame. To blame is the Prague itself – even when it proclaims the opposite – it has no conception of Letna. It has no idea, what tis space in the center of Prague is, it is not able to entitle its identity, it is not able to give it any meaningful frame, to say what it is and what will be going on there. This is the reason, that whatever appears up there, good or wrong, is outside the context.

Letna shouldn’t be a place of one architect, to stand as a project of pride like Braziliana. Letna should be a space of freedom. But before, it is at least approximately necessary to know, which rules freedom has. Without any rules, freedom changes into neglection. Because Letna has no comprehensible rules of game, it is in danger it becomes an opportunity for quick money; what we can look forward to? For example enormous aquarium for sharks and huge new stadium, when both are supposed to be some kind of a decoration for the gigantic crossroad, that should give a death strike to the Prague Castle by cutting it from Dejvice (a city part) and destroy Jeleni street, the interesting challenge to make an European boulevard of it. It is already in progress and I am afraid, it will be a construction comparable only to the notorious separation of the National Museum from the Vaclavske Namesti by the highway.

The city musts have an opinion about this space, after, and only after, it is possible to say what is a nonsense and what belongs to the place or not. How it is possible to say the Library doesn’t belong there. What if it could become a key to inspiration for the whole Letna?

One picant detail: at the time when stadiums are build in city suburbs, the new stadium must be in Prague center, but the library can’t be in the center as it is probably supposed to be build somewhere in fields. And I don’t mention the Station Strahov, the biggest stadium in Europe, which is probably left to fall, because it is easier to build on a green field.

Letna is an example of how does it end, when we left everything on the ‘invisible hand’. It is possible live up to very visible nonsenses. It seems to me, that the ODS representatives (if it is possible to ask them for it) should understand.

What do you think about it? You can add your comment at the end of this article.


Steve Smart in Prague Mecca

Steve Smart in Prague Mecca “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental like on a breeze, but maybe both things happen at the same time “

Steve’s reputation has led to his show being host to the cream of Dance Music’s heavy hitters including Sasha (who really doesn’t do much radio at all, but supports Steve’s show) Mark Knight, Tom Neville, Darren Emerson, Nic Fanciulli, James Zabiela and Carl Cox to name just a few. The tunes that Steve plays are also a reflection of his ability to foresee future dancefloor hits. Past tracks that Steve has exclusively aired on radio include the D Ramirez mix of Bodyrox, Calvin Harris and more recently Groove Amada’s infectious ‘Get Down’ which have all gone on to be big hitters.

Steve’s unique approach to radio and DJ’ing is refreshing to say the least: “I play according to the dance floor, that is my most important aim. Too many DJ’s stick to one style, one formula and then when that formula doesn’t work they struggle to re-invent themselves… I maintain my sound which can be melodic at times”

The style of music, which Steve incorporates into his sets embraces funky house, and Electro induced house stepping up to progressive. His knowledge of music expands further and even enables his Djing to incorporate wider genres at times. His ability to easily adapt is one of his greatest forte’s.

And You can enjoy Steve Smart concert in Prague Mecca, U Pruhonu 3, 19th October 2007 at meccamix, Prague. Tickets:290 CZK & VIP : 490 CZK