Surrealism In Czechoslovakia

In 1992 and 1993, I visited Czechoslovakia (it became the Czech Republic inbetween my two visits) to look at the wealth of surrealist photography which had been produced there since the 1930s. But it took a decade for that research to bear fruit and another decade after that to be fully realised.

In 2004-5, I published two papers on aspects of the subject. ‘On the Needles of these Days: Czech Surrealism and the Photographic Document’ appeared in Third Text, 67 (March, 2004). It can be accessed online at:

‘Between Photograph and Poem: a study of Styrsky and Heisler’s On The Needles of These Days’, was published in the online Papers of Surrealism, 3 (2005). It can be found at:

This research was then developed to become part of a third book on surrealism and photography. This was a collaborative project with Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, with alternating chapters tracing the development of Czech surrealist photography from the 1930s to the present day.

The book was published in 2013 by Ashgate as Surrealism and Photography in Czechoslovakia. When Ashgate was taken over by Routledge, the book became available in a much cheaper edition as a print-on-demand paperback. Information about the book and how to order it can be found at:

The book’s contents can be found here, as can a review by Paul McRandle in the American online journal Rain Taxi. Also here is an exchange that took place in the Czech art journal Umění.

Finally, there is the slideshow ‘Pictures from a Prague Cemetery’, the story of a series of encounters with one image over eight decades. My thanks again to Krzysztof and Michael.