Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Program

10 Jun 2016 - 15 Jun 2016

Stories from Ostrava – Industry to Culture

As deindustrialization takes hold in Europe, national landmarks such as Dolni Vitkovice, a decommissioned ironworks in Ostrava, Czech Republic face the threat of either dereliction or Disneyfication. In a series of interviews two students at the Architectural Association, Veronika Janovcova and Timothy O’Hare, peel back the layers of nostalgia and romanticism surrounding the site to reveal the social and political forces behind the redevelopment of the European Cultural Heritage site into an educational and cultural hub. Alongside the resulting fifteen-minute film D.O.V., the AA Gallery will host a photographic exhibition Case Study Ostrava by Viktor Kolar, one of the most important contemporary Czech documentary photographers.

D.O.V.  takes cues from the films of Charles and Ray Eames and presents a snapshot of the difficult, yet urgent transformation of a city and a community, exposing the conflicting interests of the public and private actors involved.

Case Study Ostrava, the photographic exhibition by Viktor Kolář juxtaposes for the first time black-and-white photographs from his famous Ostrava Series with colourful images from recent years while demonstrating the unity of people and their environment. Kolář’s use of deep tones, textures, light, and contrast creates a melancholic and poignant look at the landscape and people of Ostrava over the course of several tumultuous decades, earning him a place as one of the most important contemporary Czech documentary photographers.

Viktor Kolář, born in Ostrava in 1941, has devoted his life to photographing his hometown, a large industrial city and important source of coal and steel. Kolář studied at the Photographic Institute in Ostrava but emigrated to Canada after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. He was subjected to police interrogations upon returning home through Paris and London five years later in 1973. After years of being unable to professionally practice photography under communist rule, Kolář finally gained international acclaim in the 1990s following the fall of communism.

Greatly influenced at a young age by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and by his father, a self-taught photographer and filmmaker, Kolář is known for his black and white documentary photographs capturing “decisive moments” of action, when all the elements in a composition come together perfectly for a split second. In his famous Ostrava Series, Kolář’s use of deep tones, textures, light, and contrast creates a melancholic and poignant look at the landscape and people of a single city over the course of several tumultuous decades, earning him a place as one of the most important contemporary Czech documentary photographers.

The exhibition is curated by Marek Pokorný.



FREE ENTRY

Opening Times: Monday – Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm

Private View: 9th June, 6.30 – 8.30pm


Organised in cooperation with Architectural Association and Plato Ostrava.








Part of London Festival of Architecture 2016.
http://architecturediary.org/london/events/6245
London Festival of Architecture runs from 1 – 30 June. www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org
#LFA2016














Photographs by Viktor Kolář








 

 

Venue:

Private View: 9th June, 6.30 – 8.30pm | Architecural Association School of Architecture, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES

Date

From: 10 Jun 2016
To: 15 Jun 2016

Organizer:

Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event


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