After that fucking Hitler the great murderer Stalin conquered Czechoslovakia,so one of my first conscious experiences was the disappearance of that megalomanic monument of Stalin after he died, which could be seen from all over the city. I remember after I entered elementary school that I had to call my teacher "cammerad teacher" and I thought that in schools all over the world the pupils were calling their teachers "cammerad teacher". I was also taught that East Germany was the "good" Germany (no Nazis) and West Germany was the "bad" Germany (full of old Nazis). When I heard the Beatles song,"She loves you yeah, yeah..." on the radio, I felt that new times were coming up, not only in Czechoslovakia, but also in the "far" western world. I have seen, as quite a young boy, a movie made by Antonioni called Blow Up. I was really impressed by the main guy who acted as a cool photographer who knows how to seduce young models. I was sure after I saw that movie that I knew how to do that. Later I realised that I had no idea.
When in 1968 the Russian army entered Czechoslovakia, I really felt what it meant to loose freedom and liberty even if I was just fifteen years old. Leaving Czechoslovakia with my parents and my brother was very similar to the get-away scene from that bad movie that Phillip Kaufman made after Kundera's book, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". Arriving in West Germany had many meanings for me at the same time: there was that terrible past, there was the 1968 Berlin-Paris movement, there was the hippie time, there was the moon landing, and as a fifteen year old boy I was full of expectations without knowing where the trip was going to.
After finishing high school, I went to study medicine and I learned how to cut dead bodies. Later, it became clear to me that I was supposed to do something which would relate more to a creative process. So, I left medicine and I went to New York where I rented a studio and started intensively to photograph everything that I found interesting. When I ran out of money, I became a horse-cab-driver in Central Park, and I really felt like John Wayne. After N.Y.C. I went to art school in Dusseldorf, Germany where I met Joseph Beuys and Nam June-Paik. I decided to study with Paik and I created videotapes and video-installations . Paik was the best teacher in the world: I didn't see him very much and so he was somehow more present in his absence, than in his presence. He was the prototype of a virtual teacher. And then the Berlin wall came down, and I could visit Prague after 21 years; the city I thought I would never see again. I really had the strange feeling that I traveled back with a time machine because nothing changed at all, but really nothing. I felt like in a dream, and every place I knew from before had been untouched since I left. I gave a lecture about new media in the Academy of Fine Arts, and was then asked to find the first media art department in Czechoslovakia. So, I moved to Prague and started to build the department. Next, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and I almost mistakingly became a citizen of Slovakia even though I had never lived there nor was I born there. Prague started to get full of Americans that would sit all day long in coffee places writing mostly nonsense, but feeling like Henry Miller in Paris in the twenties. Since the Americans(20,000) occupied Prague, I moved into the net, so I wouldn't have to pay rent,travel cost, or food expenses.
Soon I will be in the desert and since we know that "In the desert you can't remember your name...."(Neil Young), I hope I'll at least remember how to get back from there , so I can soon give you a report about my "adventure".
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Exodus is a project of Michael Bielicky - Realisation on the WWW by Ariel Sinderman