Jan Ságl: Plastic People Primitives Group
Dancing on the Double Ice
Edited and with text by Jan Ságl. Preface by Lenka Bucilová. Interviews by Petr Volf.
In mid-1960s Czechoslovakia, prior to the Soviet invasion, the hippie ethos reigned supreme. Photographer Jan Ságl (born 1942), now well known for his photographs of Paris, was on hand to document the communes, bands and performances of the time. He photographed the scenes around the artist Zorka Ságlová, the art theorist Vera Jirousová and bands such as the Primitives Group, the Plastic People of the Universe, DG 307, Aktual and others. In the spring of 1976, while Ságl and his wife were holidaying at their weekend cottage, the police cracked down on the circle around these bands, searching homes, interrogating "suspects" and making arrests. Ságl returned home just in time to hide his photographs, which would otherwise have led to many further arrests. They remained hidden, and were eventually thought lost, until 2012, when Ságl unearthed the images--compiling them in this astonishing, massive panorama of an otherwise undocumented Czech counterculture.