essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
30. August 1942
Ex Czechoslovakia

Eugen Brikcius (1942, Prague) is a multi-faceted artist, creator of some of the first happenings in former Czechoslovakia, but also a poet and essayist.

Following his secondary-school education he had several jobs as a manual labourer – he worked as a bricklayer, in a paper works and as an electric truck driver at a railway station. From 1967-68 he worked closely with Jindřich Chalupecký, the curator of the Špála Gallery.

He studied philosophy and sociology at Charles University's Faculty of Arts in Prague, and philosophy for two years in London. When he returned to Czechoslovakia in 1970, he taught English and made artistic happenings and performances.

He was imprisoned for eight months for the denigration of the Soviet Union, a criminal act under socialism, when he and Ivan Magor Jirous, amongst others, were overheard singing an unfavourable song. He was a signatory of Charter 77. He completed his doctorate in philosophy in London.

His happenings in public spaces started in the 1960s. Some of them are Achilles a želva (1966) - a reconstruction of Zeno's aphorism of Achilles and the Tortoise at Prague Castle in front of the Queen Anne summerhouse; Pivni zátiší (1967) – action with beer, Kampa, Prague;  Díkůvzdání (1967) – action with bread at the Great Fürstenberk Garden, Prague; Neprava svatba (1968) – a false wedding at Town Hall, Square of Havlíček, Prague; Linky po Praze (1970) – a large piece of clothes stretched over various places in Prague. For Díkůvzdání, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct. Still, due to the professional opinions given by J. Chalupecký, B. Hrabal and I. Vyskočil the event was proclaimed to be a form of artistic expression.

During the 1970s, he was close to the Křižovnická škola čistého humoru bez vtipu, founded by sculptor Karel Nepraš and versatile artist Jan Steklík. It founded in 1963 in the Křižovníků pub in Prague's street of the same name. Within this diverse community, they would meet up, drink, stage events, cross boundaries between art and life in a humous manner.

In 1980, he was forced to leave the country, and he settled in Vienna. Alongside his activity as an artist, he published his literary writing, starting with Nuda in cactum (1979) and Circum venit baculum (1979). Many of his poems are in Czech and Latin, and Dada influences are seen in his creative work. Over the years numerous literary publications were made.