zbyněk baladrán cv

Glossary 

text-diagram, 2007


A glossary is a collection of useful words.
A glossary is an attempt at writing. What happens when we start writing? At the other end of words are ideas. Some ideas get written down. Some might only be hinted at.
Some ideas materialise. The most important words in this glossary are:
To understand this glossary, these words are important: mixture and decomposition.

 

Dream
Prefab housing estate. Still under construction. About thirty prefab blocks, nearly half of them finished. A field begins behind the last one. The fifteenth block is finished. It’s got eleven storeys. The walkways among the blocks aren’t ready yet, people walk on wooden planks, some of them completely submerged in mud. The blocks are separated by piles of rubble and clay. Rabbits live in them. Some of the blocks have been built on top of a rubbish tip. There’s a puddle as big as a lake in the middle. The water erodes the edges and exposes the rubbish. Rusty old pots. Bits of plastic objects and pieces of celluloid film. One of the reels reveals a story of a completely closed-in cube. Its inner walls are white, perfectly smooth and spotless. No seams or cracks. No insects inside, no mites even. No dust floating around. There is a man sitting inside. Tiny fragments of his skin have slowly started coming off his body, and static electricity is attracting them to the walls.

screenplay:

SCENE 1: THE COOK

Short static shots of a hand. Quick cuts.
A view from a window alternates with a view of a saucepan with some eggs frying in it.
Close-ups of a face.
Close-ups of the cooking process.
The cook describes what he’s doing:
Now I’ll show you how to make a delicious dish dreamt up by a cosmopolitan
communist artist, Adolf Hoffmeistr:
These are fried eggs.
I’ve put a tiny bit of butter on them,
And then added two eggs, a pinch of salt, and now I’ll mix it all up.
A pinch of pepper. There.
That looks good.
I like that.
I’m a cook, I view everything as a cook.
Shots of the flat.
The cook is reading; the camera looks over his shoulder into the book
lying on the kitchen counter: I hate sardines in oil, herring, and generally all sea fish.
I don’t like duck or goose, they’re awfully greasy.
This is the way I do things: I have large quantities of tea for breakfast with buttererd bread and olives. A little slice of bread and eight to ten olives. I have no midmorning snack. Before lunch, go to a café from one to two, where I have coffee and mineral water. I don’t have lunch till around three o’clock in the afternoon. I have dinner between seven and eight. I have no difficulty eating just before bedtime.
The cook sits down on a chair and eats.

SCENE 2: UNAVAILABLE WALK

Darkness, nothing but the noise of a crowd
Shots of the town, just holes and building sites, very short takes, darkness

SCENE 3: THE FIGHT
The cook is no longer a cook, he’s an architect.
The architect’s pensive face, looking out of the window:
He looks across the street.
We see a man and a woman in the street hitting each other about the head, she with her handbag, he’s trying to slap her across the face.
The architect watches them from the window.
A view across the street from a distance.
One short close-up of the fight.
The architect shuts the window.
He takes a piece of paper and reads from it: These things are always personal.

SCENE 4: KOLDOM
The architect says:
Now it’s time to build a flat in the Koldom block of flats.
A shot from a great height.
The architect puts a CD into a DVD player and switches on the TV.
Close-up of his hand, the remote control and the TV
The architect watches a video in which a monotonous voice reads out:
The optimum KOLDOM flat: 4 persons, 157.74 square metres
The flat is entered from a shared hallway
The foyer is a smallish room with seven doors
The door left of the entrance leads to the telephone room
The door right of the entrance leads to the cleaning room
Beyond it is the rubbish disposal room
Next to it is the door to the toilet
The small telephone room is accessible from the hallway
Next to the telephone, one enters the kitchen from the hallway
The pantry is between the toilet and the kitchen
The dining room can be accessed through the kitchen
The dining room is part of the living room
The terrace can be entered via a chair room from the hallway.
A door from the terrace also leads to the living room where there is a fireplace
The drapery in the living room hides the bathroom door and the bedroom door
Next to the latter is the entrance to the second bedroom
Another drape reveals a clothes corridor
At the end of the corridor are the doors of the third and fourth bedrooms
Both bedrooms are joined by a washroom.

SCENE 5: FLOOR PLAN
The architect puts down the remote control and draws a floor plan of the flat in a notepad:
This here corresponds: to Mayakovski—that is, a bathroom. The washing machine,
that could be Mejerchold and Tatlin, yes Tatlin too.
The kitchen, that’s clearly a Czech affair, the cook stove is Honzík,
The drawers Kolíbal, the table legs Kolář and Havel and… let me see, two more… who might they… I’ll figure it out later.
The refrigerator would be Hoffmaister, only I don’t have one here; there is room for one, though. So the fridge, then, is Hoffmaister.
The bedroom, the bed, nobody so far.
The window, that’s Brecht, the other one is Weiss.
The architect stares blankly

SCENE 6: A DREAM

The cook sits down on a chair and eats
Then he picks up a paper and reads out loud with his mouth full:
Now I’ll tell you about my dream:
repeats
I had this dream:
repeats
I had a dream once:
repeats
I had a dream today:
Prefab housing estate. Still under construction. About thirty prefab blocks, nearly half of them finished. A field begins behind the last one. The fifteenth block is finished. It’s got eleven storeys. The walkways among the blocks aren’t ready yet, people walk on wooden planks, some of them completely submerged in mud. The blocks are separated by piles of rubble and clay. Rabbits live in them. Buckets with petroleum jelly are overgrown with weed beside dilapidating bulldozers. There’s a puddle as big as a lake beside a cistern with leftover lime inside. Some of the blocks have been built on top of a rubbish tip. The rubbish washes out of the mud by the edge of the puddle. Old pots. Rusty wire. Bits of plastic and reels of celluloid film. Holding the film reels against sunlight, I see stories. One of the reels shows a perfectly white cube, smooth and faultless. Its white walls, ceiling and floor are without seams or hairline cracks. No spider or insect ever gets in. A perfect place. There’s a man sitting on the floor inside. It’s probably me. He’s afraid that the fine dust coming off his skin will destroy everything, that he’ll cover the place with dust and everything will be lost.

Another reel depicts a large room submerged in darkness. The only thing that comes through the windows is some barely perceptible light. The room has simple furnishings. Wooden tables and chairs. A wardrobe. A fireplace in the back. The room is filled with people. Everyone is standing, and nobody moves. No one’s face is visible. Nobody says anything. They stand like this for a long time.
The reading is interspersed with old frames from a 16 mm film from the 1970s, ideally montages of ploughing or cars moving.

SCENE 6: END CREDITS
The architect says:
And now let’s look at some end credits
End credits on a television
Very small rolling credits, so small they’re hardly legible. Dramatic music
Quite improbably, Hába

SCENE 7: THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
The architect turns into a journalist.
The journalist reads out:
Now let’s take a look at the history of our future.
A static view of books being opened. Filmed simply on a table or something similar
He continues:
We are not interested in future, because there is none; but the past is interesting. It sure is interesting. The things most important to us have already happened, hence the archive.
I’ll try to recall completely the most important moments.
This is a model of a building—an archive too, in fact. The building consists of individual layers,
There’s a sort of hierarchy in it, Each layer is intended for a specific sort and type of phenomena.
I’ve always been interested in archives. This one even looks like a library.
I have this idea: Tatlin once spoke of unfinished thoughts,
that’s really interesting to me. It seems that there may only be unfinished thoughts.
Come to think of it, nothing’s ever worked out either. In a word, there are many threads to pick up.
As for designing architecture. Soviet constructivists built their models and some of their artwork using slats. The fastest way to express an architectural idea.
It is, however, totally incomplete, inaccuracy…
A view from the window:
It’s morning
It’s raining again
An underlined book
A book with lines underlined from beginning to end, that is
pages
7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40—-224
A shot of a television
he says: that’s not me, it’s an actor
Points at the television:
This is a screenplay
In the end, he says: I’m hungry

VARIATION:
A small room:
A window facing southeast, kitchen sink underneath it.
The cook is cooking
Short static handheld shots.
Quick cuts
A view from the window, then into a frying pan with some eggs frying in it.
Close-ups of the face.
Close-ups of the cooking process.
The cook describes what he’s doing:
Now I’ll show you how to make a delicious dish dreamt up by a
well-known cosmopolitan communist:
These are fried eggs.
I’ve put a tiny bit of butter on them,
An then added two eggs, a pinch of salt, and now I’ll mix it all up.
A pinch of pepper. There.
That looks good.
I like that.
Nice and amorphous.
Shots of the flat.
The cook is reading; the camera looks over his shoulder into the book
lying on the kitchen counter:
I hate sardines in oil, herring, and genearlly sea fish. I don’t like duck or goose, they’re awfully greasy.
This is the way I do things: I have large quantities of tea for breakfast with buttered bread and olives. A little slice of bread and eight to ten olives. I have no midmorning snack. Before lunch, I go to a café from one to two, where I have coffee and mineral water. I don’t have lunch till around three o’clock lunch in the afternoon. I have dinner between seven and eight. I have no difficulty eating just before bedtime.
The cook sits down on a chair and eats.

VARIATION 2: Glosses
The architect says: To hell with rules of drama. The way I see it: When there’s a rifle in the first act, it’s got to disappear in the second act. You can only achieve a good thing if you ignore all rules when you write it.
One has to be highly loyal to oneself these days and bear witness to the decay, be present here and try
to tell as much about it as one can within the limits of one’s upbringing and one’s generation.
You’ll always be able to find a person wanting to tell a friend
his idea, his dream.

a moment,
according
to
one
convention,
lasts
a
third
of
a
second
therefore
three
moments
make up
one
second
one minute
consists of
a
hundred
and
eighty
moments
ten
thousand
eight
hundred
moments
make up
an
hour
one
day
comprises
two
hundred
and
fifty
nine
thousand
two
hundred
moments
ninety
four
million
six
hundred
thousand
moments
make up
a
year
I
have
therefore
experienced
three
billion
two
hundred
and
sixteen
million
six
hundred
and
seventy
thousand
moments
so
far
of
which
I
remember
well
a
few
hundred

The topography:
1.    cooker
2.    television
3.    window
4.    door
5.    bed
6.    table
7.    toilet
8.    washbasin

The script:
1.    the past, borders, building made of books
2.    arrival, people’s prague
3.    motorway, fried eggs
4.    opinion poll, dream, old film
5.    amateur stock exchange
6.    metro, prague,
7.    brothel
8.    fashion show, man-and-wife quarrel
9.    interview
10.    motorcyclists

Extracts:
1.    Tatlin
2.    mayakovski
3.    honzík
4.    hackenschmied
5.    hoffmaister / kolář
6.    feuerstein / Kabele
7.        brecht /Weiss
8.        wallser/bergson/deleuze
9.        Duras
10.      Pasolini

The film Half-life

The film’s story line:
The film opens with voice-over narration:
All I remember is a reconstruction of the present moment.
As soon as the present moment is gone, I reconstruct it again.
What am I made up of? Of present moments or reconstructions thereof?
What am I? My personal memories are relevant to what?
Our past is a component of invisible schemes.

Installation description:
What interests us? What’s important?
That enthusiastic constructivist discourse is at the bottom of our collective memory. What interested us then? Constructing a better society.
Eliminating of poverty. We believed in work. We believed it would be achieved by working together.
It seldom happens that we share a goal.
By eliminating free decision-making and the unintelligibility of the future and by setting a goal for ourselves.
Earnest self-denial became an instrument of humiliation.
Reality turned into terror.
The moment the image of the future became ridiculous, free decision-making became important again. At the risk of longing for a future without freedom again.

A story out of someone’s memory:

What I was most terrified of was dying.
I thought that when I was born, there was some sort of natural meaning to my birth. And it would eventually reveal itself to me on its own. I couldn’t imagine the fact of my birth as having been meaningless.
I lived in a housing estate under construction on the edge of an industrial town.
It seemed meaningless. Still, I expected the meaning behind my living there would reveal itself eventually. I imagined it be like when you wind up an alarm clock. When the spring inside can’t be wound up anymore, you know it.
But the time kept winding itself up and nothing was happening. I started thinking I had wound it up too much! I felt flushed at the thought that I had missed the moment.
And then it dawned on me! Yes! I must have missed it! All I had to do was look at the everyone else! They looked like they knew already! They lived their lives and went about with such self-assurance.
They had to know! And I’d missed it! They were walking around on planks amidst the blocks of flats and they were happy! So their future was clear, because they knew the meaning of it all and were able to act accordingly. I was sad, but what could I do, I wouldn’t probably wasn’t going to get a second chance. But my future is clear too. I’m going to die and never find out what my life was for.

Instructions:

Never show any initiative
Never overexert yourself
Always speak second
Answer in no more than four sentences
Remember that future is clear. (It would be a fluke if that were to change in any way)
If somebody tells you something is the case, it probably is; if he’s the only one to make the claim, don’t believe him or play stupid.
Decide the way the majority decides.
Find somebody to take out your anger on (Make sure other people have chosen the same person; it can even be someone in your family)
Laugh at what other people laugh at, only louder
Focus on what’s near you; ignore things that are far off
Arguments with acquaintances are pointless.
Try to be invisible and don’t go out much
Don’t complain.

A memory:

I can’t remember, even though I do recall how it happened.
All I have to do is concentrate for a while, not let trivial stuff distract me.
I’ll have a coffee, smoke a cigarette, and give it a try. I’ll rub my face with the palms of my hands and run my fingers through my hair.

I feel quite distinctly that I’ve forgotten it.