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I am always amazed when I come across some kind of human enterprise or a piece of work which manages to capture the zeitgeist, the present feelings and needs of people and as a result often retains its quality and respect from others for decades to come.
And I’m all the more fascinated when it doesn’t refer to purely practical or pointless creations, yet still manages to achieve huge success and acknowledgement.
Upon entering the UMPRUM museum, I asked myself the question whether it was really me going to a Matchbox museum with my son or the other way around.
It turned out not to be all that important. We both came away feeling we’d experienced something special although it has to be said, it was somewhat greater for me. Among the coloured boxes and cars of all different sizes I immediately felt transported back to my bedroom as a child on Gen. Svobody Street with Karel Gott singing Lady Carneval while granny got to work on her home-made noodles and I slaved away hour after hour absorbed in my matchbox cars. Despite the small size, they possessed an unbelievable level of detail, were resistant and had a perfect “spring” to them.
Back then they were unbelievably real to me and I got a great deal of pleasure out of them in a variety of situations and from numerous stories. One advantage was that I shared my collection with my older brother meaning our joint collection was of a respectable size. I was secured a certain degree of “Matchbox” prestige on both the street and at school due to my father being frequently sent all over the world as a leading expert on trailer constructions who, feeling guilty by being away from home so much, would buy us endless supplies of car matchboxes. My friends’ rare purchases at the Tuzex store couldn’t possibly pose a threat to my status.
At the exhibition I lost my composure slightly by shouting “we used to have this one” and “this one came with fantastic opening doors,” recalling all kinds of situations.
My son waited on displaying both understanding and patience until I settled back down again. It dawned on me that the Matchbox brand is just as important to me as Merkur, Lego or even Apple and Vitra – all of these brands have achieved so much and managed to positively impact on my life. DejfRez.
UPM exhibition hall, the exhibition runs until 1.4.2013