The Renovation of the Grave of Jindřich Chalupecký

The Renovation of the Grave of Jindřich Chalupecký

The fairy tale starts in September 2009 at the collective exhibition Historical Work at Václav Špála Gallery. “Artists should work with art history; it is their property, there is no need to revere it, it is not tied by scientific doctrine,” said the exhibition’s press release among other things.

This assumption was fully met in the video where the beauteous artists Marek Meduna and Ondřej Brody, with their backs turned to the viewers, peed on the grave of Jindřich Chalupecký. A handful of tender-hearted artists, who attended the exhibition, too, set out to the Olšany Marble Orchard with a bouquet in their hands. They wanted to disinfect the unforgivable sacrilege and slanderous vandalism. Yet their effort was in vain for they could not find the grave. The supply of Jindřich Chalupeckýs at the cemetery has been, still is and always will be quite large. The artists sought for a long time, the dusk was near and the cemetery gates were closing. This is where the story could end, letting the artists roam the Olšany Marble Orchard till they died.

But a wise old man stepped in. He appeared out of nowhere, looking like Milan Knížák. Clutching a basket of washed linen in his calloused palms, he was the first one to greet the artists with tears in their eyes and a fading bouquet in their hands: “God bless you, why are you crying, children?” Nobody replied for they were a little fearful of the old codger. With his typical tenderness, the old man stroked their cheeks and said unto them: “The one you seek did not like the consonant cluster of N, D, Ř in his first name. Got it, you little conceptual posthumous children?” Then he suddenly disappeared with his basket full of linen.

They eyes of the artists suddenly lit up, as if a heavenly shaft struck their free gathering. The light flooded the cemetery, filling even the shabby parts of the garden free of any movement. All of a sudden, the crooked and wobbly headstones straightened up and firmed up and the ravaged flower beds came into bloom.

Since that moment, nobody ever lost their way there, the dusk never came and the gates remained open forever…


Based on a true story and narrated by: Edith Jeřábková, Lenka Lindaurová, Ladislav Babuščák, Václav Litvan, Petr Valer and Michal Pěchouček.