View: Czech republic

From the late 1800s up until 1939, Czech artists were active and made a big impression in the Central European Art development.

The influences came from the Art metropolitans of Vienna, Berlin and Paris. In Prague, photography was considered an Art. Frantisek Drtikol was one of those who pushed the photographic movement forward around 1910.

During the following years the art of painting and architecture in Europe developed. Modernism, avant-gardism, cubism, and functionalism replaced each other at a rapid pace. All this has influenced the Czech photography and we have outstanding photo treasures from photographers like Jaromír Funke, Jaroslav Rössler and Josef Sudek – who have all been inspired by the different Art flows and in their turn contributed to developing them.

After 1947, the Iron curtain went down on Eastern Europe. The world history of photography was written in the fifties by historians like Beaumont Newhall and Helmut Gernsheim. The Czech photo history was missing in all the standard works, despite its importance. In Sweden, only Josef Sudek and Josef Koudelka are generally known today.

Czech photography is now undergoing major changes. Photographers of the new generation, who were born after the fall of the Berlin wall, are innovative and creative. The Czechs in general are now ready to process years of oppression. In the modern department of the exhibition, there are photographers like Jindřich Ŝtreit, Viktor Kolář and Dita Pepe. “How would my life have looked like if I would have been born into another family, got married to another man or if I would have chosen another profession?” Dita Pepe examines these issues in her self-portraits. During the last 15 years, she has created environments where she has changed her age, her profession and her social status in order to adjust to people with whom she is taking photos of herself.