CHATAŘSTVÍ / SUMMERHOUSES
VERONIKA ZAPLETALOVÁ
SUMMERHOUSES - The Architecture of human dreams and Possibilities is devoted to original self-build summerhouses, a disappearing Czech phenomenon. I document this embodiment of human happiness on photographs (starting 2000), in a book (2007) and from the year 2009 on an art documentary film.

The "Chatarství - Summerhouses" art photography project and a book document a specific Czech activity and concentrate on the results of its creativity. The Czech „chata" - „summerhouse" is in fact a simple, small, out of town dwelling, often improvised and self build by it's owner. This project documents summerhouses, that mirror the extraordinary personalities of their builders, in both negative and positive way. The project follows these builders as individuals forming a dream. Each one of these summerhouse constructions creates a world of its own, an escape from - day - to - day reality. Yet, these summerhouses are not emergency shelters, they are architectures of abstract human happiness. They do not bow humbly in their corner, but govern their own small space in matter and spirit. The hundreds of structures documented in this project reflect a society changing and human dreams in chains. It shows a special type of Czech rambler romanticism and the relationship of people to their land, a relative absence of religion (Christianity) and a passion for nature, for freedom and for a sense of community, a passion for creativity and the do - it - yourself mania. These summerhouses dot the Czech landscape in their thousands, yet, very often they are forgotten, unseen and very seldom analyzed.