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"There probably is some higher power": Philosophical Undercurrents in the Work of Jaroslav Malina

Drábek, Pavel



Joe Brandesky


Jaroslav Malina was not only a world-renowned scenographer but also an acclaimed visual artist who, throughout his career, kept creating paintings and graphic objects. It has been pointed out by connoisseurs of his work – particularly by contributors to the catalogue published for the exhibition Jaroslav Malina: Paintings and Designs, curated by Joseph Brandesky – that there is “permanent interaction” (Brandesky) between both realms of Malina’s creative work. Both of these – be it through theatrical cultures, visual cultures, or through the epistemic knowledge – reflect the sensibilities, intellectual and artistic refinements, and philosophical inquiries of their time. Jaroslav Malina was an avid reader of modern critical theorists, particularly of the French poststructuralist school. This essay proposes an analysis of the affinities between poststructuralist and deconstructivist critical theories, and Malina’s visual work – in particular its ironic relations to fixed and firm structures, authoritative significance, as well as to the conventional methods of visual arts. While not aspiring to an art historian’s interpretation, this essay traces the possible inspirations that Malina found in his critical reading and ways in which these were creatively refracted in his work.


Drábek, P. (2019). "There probably is some higher power": Philosophical Undercurrents in the Work of Jaroslav Malina. In J. Brandesky (Ed.), Jaroslav Malina in Scenography and Painting (251-282). Prague: Karolinum Press

Acceptance Date Jan 15, 2019
Publication Date 2019-06
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2020
Publisher Karolinum Press
Pages 251-282
Book Title Jaroslav Malina in Scenography and Painting
Chapter Number 7
ISBN 9788024642697
Keywords Theatre
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