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TZ / Laterna Magika: The Memory of an Experiment

Prague’s MeetFactory Becomes a “Laboratory” of Laterna Magika

19th September, Prague – Prague’s MeetFactory Gallery starts its fall exhibition season with the project Laterna Magika: The Memory of an Experiment. Besides historical materials, it also presents artworks by Michael Bielický and Kamila B. Richter, Jakub Nepraš, Ana Latini and Amelia Tan. The exhibition, realized in collaboration with Národní filmový archiv, will be opened on 26th September at 7 pm, and will be open until 10th November 2019.

Laterna Magika, Czechoslovakia’s representative cultural-promotional program introduced at the Brussels World’s Fair, also known as Expo 58, is still fascinating sixty years later, and new performances based on its principle are still produced today. Curated by Lucie Česálková and Kateřina Svatoňová, the exhibition combines historical materials, later inspirations by Laterna Magika in different media formats, and brand new art projects created on the occasion of the exhibition. The presented artworks seek to better understand the essence of multimedia performances, their possibilities and limits, and to reveal the issues linked to the experimental stage of the National Theater, such as state promotion, its institutional background, and the role of the artist in the Normalization era.

“The multimedia theater of Laterna Magika was, among other things, an original creative laboratory where one could experiment with new media approaches and techniques even in the conditions of socialist culture. The exhibition explores the memory of this experiment, how these practices evolved in the works of other artists inspired by Laterna Magika, and how they reverberate in contemporary art,” say curators Lucie Česálková and Kateřina Svatoňová.


Thus, the exhibition also presents contemporary artworks responding to the phenomenon of Laterna Magika. Jakub Nepraš displays his artworks created between 2007 and 2019 for the New Stage of the National Theater which are largely based on the works of Laterna Magika. The separate section of Kostka Gallery introduces the common installation of Kamila B. Richter and Michael Bielický combining an architectonic object and projections onto semi-transparent materials. The last section of the exhibition is dedicated to international artists in residence Ana Latini and Amelia Tan who have a completely different perspective of Laterna Magika unburdened by tradition/history.

Laterna Magika: The Memory of an Experiment follows the Brno exhibition Laterna Magika: (De)construction and (Re)invention, which was also an output of the research project NAKI II Laterna Magika. Past and Present, Documentation, Preservation and Presentation supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. While the exhibition held at the Brno House of Arts accentuated the historical context, the exhibition held at the MeetFactory galleries focuses on how the approaches developed by Laterna Magika step outside the field of theater and enter the contemporary art practice.

The project outputs further include the monograph The Dictator of Time: (De)contextualizing the Phenomenon of Laterna Magika whose English version will be launched on 2 October at Campus Hybernská.


Project website
Graphic materials


Laterna Magika: The Memory of an Experiment
27 September – 10 November 2019
Artists: Michael Bielický and Kamila B. Richter, Ana Latini, Jakub Nepraš, Amelia Tan
Curators: Lucie Česálková, Kateřina Svatoňová
Architect: Zbyněk Baladrán
Organizers: MeetFactory, Národní filmový archiv
Opening: 26 September 2019
Admission: Free



Side Events:
2nd October 6:30 pm             Project presentation at Campus Hybernská
6th October 5 pm       Architecture Day – Guided tour with the curators
23rd October 7 pm     Guided tour with the curators
7th November 4 pm   Colloquium


Zuzana Kolouchová / PR / +420 739 055 862 /
Libor Galia / PR MF /  


Národní filmový archiv
Jolana Danková / PR / +420 775 857 870 /



MeetFactory is supported in 2019 by a grant from the City of Prague amounting to 10.000.000 CZK.

TZ_Laterna magika_The Memory of an Experiment_ENG.pdf