NEWS: 01 08 2022
Mark Thers roots originate in the Broumov region, where part of his family lived in the past. Ther regularly returns there and finds inspiration for his films and drawings. The forests, meadows and rural landscape, sparsely populated but rich in memories of the events that took place there, create a humble yet compelling backdrop for the simple story lines unfolding between a few actors. The obvious ones are the characters themselves - often young boys or old women - but alongside them, there are also objects that play a role in the story - hidden treasures or lost books and journals or even the trees and abandoned buildings that stand freely in the field. The costumes, props and dialect of the characters usually place the time of the films somewhere in the first half of the 20th century; we cannot tell the exact time from the setting, the landscape is unchanging and the cottages and roadside crosses remain in place. However, knowing Thers work, we can assume that this is a time when Germans still had a firm place in the Czech borderlands. The landscape of the Broumov region, the border zone of Sudetenland, but also other places outside Thers usual radius, thus become permanent witnesses to small episodes in a larger historical narrative.
Thers latest film so far, Welt des Bauern, is another story of everyday life in the Czechoslovak Sudetenland. The setting is once again Broumov, specifically the village of Šonov (Schönau); it is three years after the First World War and Jan, a young man, sets off early in the morning on a journey through the countryside. It is not certain where he is going, or even if he is heading anywhere, but after some time his journey comes to an abrupt end when he meets an unknown man who warns him that he has crossed a national border and, thanks to his inattention, has found himself in another country.
Mark Ther (*1979) is a visual artist, filmmaker and author of complex gallery environments. He lives and works in Prague. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of Vladimír Skrepl and studied in the new media studio of Michael Bielický. He belongs to the promoters of video art and art films in the Czech Republic. In 2011, he won the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. In his films he often works with fictional stories set in a real context. Important for him is the theme of minority identities and events related to the indigenous German population and their culture living on the Czech territory. He uses reduced means of expression and precise work with detail in his films and installations, and in recent years also in his drawing, which has transformed from a tool for designing storyboards into an independent means of expression.Thers art is a way for him to capture reality in a given moment, which however can be (and often it really is) a combination of historical cultural realities with free authorial invention.