Overcoming Out

Full HD video, 10‘12‘‘ /colour, sound/

The video Overcoming Out deals with the history of the famous political protest song “We Shall Overcome” and its Czech variant “Jednou budem dál” by the music group Spirituál kvintet.

This video tries to point out differences between the original Afro-American spiritual, which later came to be known as a politically charged folk song, and its transposed local version.

It seeks to highlight changes in meanings that occur in the translation of the lyrics during the 70‘s and 80‘s in Czechoslovakia. The video chooses songs with a theme of defiance and struggle for a better future. It alternately proves to be promising, vague and ominous.

Performative actions and recordings based on the motives of “Jednou budem dál” are layered in an experimental audiovisual remix, together with musical clips. Archival TV footage is analysed in collage-like compositions and instead of illustrating facts, it creates a peculiar imaginary superstructure. Key themes of songs by Spirituál kvintet are assembled into cacophonous loops. The documentary-style video is developed into a form of a free visual essay.

As part of the exhibition Moral Compromise at Gallery Luxfer in Česká Skalice, the video appeared within an installation—fragments of “normalization furniture wall unit” folded out into a circular constellation reminiscent of a folk campfire.