Saturday 3 September: after 6am, Bedřichovice start coming to life in London. As the sun rises at 6:15, Kateřina Šedá is the first to start drawing in Peter’s Hill, where the village’s main square would be in the Czech Republic. In the meantime, the villagers drink their morning coffee, read the papers and have mail delivered by their local postwoman. They also start doing physical exercise and riding bikes, and sweep the Millennium Bridge which represents the main street of the village.
As the day unfolds, the villagers proceed with their usual activities such as gardening, hanging the laundry or washing a car. At 10am they gather at the village’s main church, St Benet Welsh Church (here in London), where they play music, sing and dance. Afterwards, a Czech lesson is conducted inside the church, where some of the villagers describe the specificities of the Czech language and teach the visitors about its most important sounds and words.
In the afternoon, the villagers’ activities continue as if they were at home - they play table tennis, badminton, petanque and other sports, board games and hopscotch, they walk the dog and socialise with friends. Gabriela is turning 20 today, so a birthday party is thrown.
Two of the villagers conduct special tours of Bedřichovice in London, explaining to visitors where everything is in the village and what the main landmarks are. At the same time, they tell them some local gossip and introduce them to the tastes of home-made cherry brandy!
From sunrise to sunset, eighty UK-based artists are busy representing the borders of Bedřichovice. The area chosen by Šedá extends from Tate Modern northwards to St Paul’s Cathedral - the village has been literally mapped upon London. The eighty artists stand on the outskirts of Bedřichovice, looking at the London cityscape, and paint or draw what they would see if they were in the Czech village.
With the sunset at 19:44, the villagers dance to celebrate the end of the day. After being in London from dawn till dusk, Bedřichovice will soon return to its original location in the Czech Republic. However, considering how happy everyone looks, it may be safe to assume that the villagers wouldn’t mind keeping Bedřichovice in London just a little bit longer.
Curatorial intern for the Live Programme at Tate Modern