Pavel Kreml

* 1954

  • “Everything, what we did, why we did it. They kept searching for the context - what was behind it all. But there was nothing. Pataphysics [a kind of humorous pseudo-science of the absurd - trans.] was a kind of leitmotif, which we’d been introduced to by Eda Vacek - that makes the impression of trouble, but it’s not - it’s just a different perspective on a given subject. But pataphysics was hard for them to swallow. We had things like research on the audibility of a person going to the toilet in a block of flats. Silly stuff like that. It was just pataphysics; trying to make it out as some kind of source of resistance was total nonsense, that wasn’t its purpose at all.”

  • “Pejša and I and the other boys saw it as a sport. We always applied somewhere, they refused to exhibit us, but it was an opportunity for us to meet. We didn’t see each other the whole year through, sometimes, but we knew we’d meet up because we were going to apply to this that place, and then we’ll go to pick up our paintings because they wouldn’t display them, so we’d meet there, go have a beer, a chat, and so on.”

  • “‘The region where I live and work’ was its title. That was the assignment. So I painted a picture. It was a gypsy girl, but a blonde one, a portrait. And then a map of the republic, the North Bohemian Region, with beer caps. So of course they didn’t exhibit me. They even told me that those beer caps were insulting. And they scratched the gypsy. There was a cut across the face. One of them told: ‘Oh, someone here said it wasn’t painted, so he tested it like that.’ So they just ruined it. Then they couldn’t exhibit it, seeing that it was ruined. So that was there excuse.”

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    Novosedlice u Teplic, 23.10.2017

    duration: 01:06:51
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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When I paint a hand, I want the hand to be there. I keep hearing - moron, you can keep that. But I try to make my pictures always mean something

Kreml_2.jpg (historic)
Pavel Kreml
photo: archiv pamětníka / Jakub Zvoníček

Pavel Kreml was born on 27 September 1954 in Teplice. He started painting already as a child. He was a founding member of the art group Terč (Target) and a member of the Pataphysical Collegium, which was inspired by Surrealism and Dadaism. He took part in the publication of the samizdat magazine Pako (from Patafyzické kolegium; meaning Dolt), and it is probably due to this and to his friendship with the prominent Teplice dissident Eduard Vacek that he was subjected to a number of interrogations and house raids. He started exhibiting his works illegally at home exhibitions and outdoors. In the later 1980s he gained prominence for his portraits of famous people, which is livelihood to this day.