The exhibition is loosely connected with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia. It seeks to ponder stereotypes linked with the presentation of historical events. It focuses on artworks on paper as a medium that can mediate a specific (and present) moment – through leaflets, popular prints, authentic records or magazine illustrations – in which the use of the same means can present official, officialized and sometimes even opposing views of a given event.
The exhibition will seek to reveal the pictorial strategies of individual “types” of events and show how and if these strategies changed over the centuries. It will focus on historical moments that were worth recording in their time, in particular dramatic events like battles and wars, protests and demonstrations. In contrast, there are positive events such as coronation ceremonies or various celebrations. Humour, too, plays a major role in reflecting significant historical moments, while longstanding frustration stemming from the feeling of historical failure stands at the opposite end – but these two aspects can also blend. The artworks on display date from the early 17th century to 1918, depending on the available material.
They will primarily reflect events in the Czech Lands but, whenever possible, will also try to offer comparisons to similar material about events abroad. Although its name paraphrases the motto on the Czech presidential banner, the exhibition aims to show that the visual ways in which Czech events are presented do not differ much from those in other countries – any specific features are only linked with specific events or figures, not their artistic rendering. The repetition of the same situations can highlight the relative nature of history, which the exhibition delineates.