Vladimir Kabelik’s One Life, Two Cities: A photographer’s story of his cross-continental journey

27 August – 14 December 2018
Hazel McCallion Campus B-Wing Gallery

Vladimir Kabelik Installation
Installation view with still from Generation ’70 (1978)

Photographer and filmmaker Vladimir Kabelik spent his young adult life immersed in the rapidly changing political climate of Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s. Stalinist days of brutal communism were ending, culminating with a transfer of power to a new reformist leader, Alexander Dubček, in January 1968. Following the first signs of democracy, Soviet-led armed forces invaded the country on August 21, 1968.

Kabelik’s documentary, Generation ’70 (1978), later captured the work of young Czech and Slovak photographers. It was heavily censored, and, eventually, banned altogether. Targeted by the government, Kabelik entered a state of “low employment”. During this period, he wandered throughout Prague, camera in-hand. In 1982, Kabelik escaped to Toronto via Austria and Switzerland. In an unfamiliar place, he began photographing spaces that looked familiar to him. Through his lens, the streets of Prague and Toronto appear as one continuous place.

The photographs in this exhibition characterize Kabelik’s practice during these formative moments in time. Kabelik later taught in Sheridan’s Media Arts Department and Advanced Television and Film Post-Graduate Program for over 30 years. Generously donated by the artist to the Creative Campus Galleries Collection, the photographs provide a rich archive of his cross-continental journey and honour his invaluable contributions to our teaching and learning community.


Installation photography by Toni Hafkenscheid.