Ladislav Čarný

* 1949

  • "I was in Bratislava on August 20 because my aunt had a celebration, and we came to Žilina in the evening. I woke up in the morning and it was already happening. As a high school student, I immediately participated in street events in Žilina, throwing stones at tanks, writing slogans at buildings. It was a very powerful experience not only for me but for my whole generation. Even during normalization, they couldn't persuade us to join the Socialist Youth Union, not even at the university, to participate in activities. We had already taken a certain oppositional stance. We strengthened it among ourselves. When I compare it with other generations, who came after us at the university, they were no longer that conscientious."

  • "Why at Cipar? Cipár was elected chairman of the Union of Fine Artists in 1989, and it was such perestroika - he tended to accept even the previously forbidden artists to enable them to exhibit at certain venues. Cipar represented some institutional umbrella. We viewed him very positively. At this meeting at Cipar, he initiated a meeting in Umelecka beseda, there was currently an exhibition by Rudo Sikora (which was also a sign of relaxation). And since he exhibited there, he hed the keys and he could open the space. When we went to beseda, I thought there would be tanks, and militia etc.. but it didn't happen. And this was the meeting, where the Public Against Violence started to form. It is an important moment of Slovak history. Slovakia was performed independently of Czech Civic Forum, and that was only the beginning. Most of us didn't want to go to politics - some of my colleagues did.A lot of people came to the Umelecka beseda, that's why I went there with concern because we used telephones to organise, they were tapped, or could have been. But yes, it was a sign of a changing situation. I don't know the background. Surprisingly, a lot of people arrived, and it had a huge public impact. Also, the leaders- types, crystallized there, we were no longer a friendly circle of intellectuals, debating. The meetings at Miro Cipar initiated meetings at Umelecka beseda, where future politicians started to engage.

  • "I had received the declaration from Daniel Fischer, I signed it, immediately I was called to the Union of Visual Artists. I asked them: "Do you have any problems with the need to express a clear standpoint towards holocaust and other grave issues?" They could hardly dissaprove but they didn't like the other signatories- the dissidents.

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    Bratislava, 07.05.2019

    duration: 01:29:53
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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I am still proud that my exhibition was not cancelled by the Minister of Culture, but by the Minister of Agriculture

photo: pri ED natáčaní

Ladislav Čarný, an academic painter, was born in Žilina and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in 1974. Until 1992 he taught at the Elementary Art School, he is also the author of methodologies for art education. Since 1992 he has been a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the Department of Theory and History of Art. He belongs to the group of artists Avance Retard. During socialism, he was not allowed to exhibit his works at all. In 1987 he became a signatory of the Declaration on the Deportations of Jews from Slovakia. During the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, he joined the civil and protest activities of VPN.