Images of the Ends of History Catalogue

The exhibition Images of the Ends of History at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague “presents the period between 1985 and 1995 through photography and the related media (graphic design, video, cartoon, film and TV), and focuses on the interrelated political and media changes in the Czech society”. Zuzana Lednická therefore happily used the plentiful misdeeds, clichés and technical constraints of the hurryingly loosening, naive and boastful time. The A4 format as a basic element for the installation of the exhibition and its promotion is readily complemented by ring binding punching, incorrect registers, the world’s glossiest papers and fonts of the first IT ads. In the exhibition as well as the accompanying book the calculators from the Czechoslovak mail order catalog Magnet meet with Depeche Mode visiting Prague in Anton Corbijn's photographs, the Videostop TV competition mingles with photographs by the dissident Bohdan Holomíček and erotic magazines are juxtaposed with pictures of Jan Malý's mobile stores and TV Nova teleshopping. The book takes the form of an office file with folders and a timeline complemented by LP covers and texts. The format is further reduced to A5 and the 1990s chaos unfolds on 462 pages with three even smaller formats on three types of paper of different weights. Everything is held together by a plastic cover, a red ring binding and cartoons by Vladimír Jiránek. "The mess we live in, dear students, will one day be called history," says one.

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