Česká centra, Czech Centres

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20 Mar 2019 - 30 Apr 2019

Karel Cudlín Sight/ Effect

Our Gallery On the fence present: For the first time a substantial selection of renowned Czech documentary photographer Karel Cudlín’s work capturing the transformation of the landscape and society from the Sinai to the Golan over the past twenty-two years is being exhibited on its own.

The exhibition comprises older work, which thanks to their publication in books of photography and literature both have already achieved iconic status, as well as photos never seen before, some of which were taken just this past year.

Cudlín is the only Czech photographer whose work has engaged with Israel on a continuous basis rather than as a one-off project. His photographs of Israel are not topographical records permeated with picturesque Middle Eastern motifs, nor are they political reportage. They are not unified in theme and do not conform to any specific predetermined plan. The photos emerge spontaneously, out of a pure interest in the course of events, no matter if the environs are a city, desert, or beach, and they are free of agenda, expectation, or any ambition to impose on the image more than what the immediate situation presents.

More than an unconcerned observer, Cudlín is an ardent, adroit, and proficient observer, and even though his frequent trips take him to locations already visited numerous times, seldom do we feel that his photographs are just monotonously retreading the same ground. Human presence is sensed in each and every photograph, even in its absence, such as with the shots of desolate landscapes or where the only protagonists are animals. At times straddling the edge of absurdity, the images betray Cudlín’s  unmistakable sense of humor, which always acts as a guardrail against shallow stereotypes and cheap sentiment.

At present Cudlín’s “Israel corpus” includes thousands of negatives and digital photos, forming the core of a story still being composed, one that is slowly but surely taking the form of a vast visual novel. Following in the best traditions of Humanist Photography, Cudlín naturally sets store in a fundamental interest in humankind as a pluralistic community of individuals. In this sense, he has clearly found in Israel an inexhaustible font of inspiration.

Karel Cudlín (*1960) is one of the top Czech documentary photographers. Since graduating in 1987 from the Photography Department at FAMU (The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague), he has had dozens of solo exhibitions at home and abroad (in the past 20 years he has exhibited in France, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Romania, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Georgia, Senegal, Cyprus, and the USA) and his work has been included in more than 50 group exhibitions the world over. He created a number of photographic series that captured everyday life in Communist Czechoslovakia, the momentous events of 1989, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia in 1991, the lives of ethnic and social minorities throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and life in Israel. A special chapter of his work comprises photographs taken from 1996 to 2003 in his capacity as one of the official photographers for President Václav Havel. Cudlín has been awarded 18 times for his work as part of the prestigious Czech Press Photo, and in 2008 he received the Revolver Revue Prize. His career to date has included stints teaching in the Department of Documentary Film Studies and the Department of Photography at FAMU in Prague as well as collaboration with many Czech periodicals and filmmakers. Cudlín’s work has appeared in a number of monographs and is represented in public and private collections in the Czech Republic and abroad. He is a founding member of the photographers collective 400 ASA.

Our Parters: 




Zeitlin Street 23
6495518 Tel Aviv


From: 20 Mar 2019
To: 30 Apr 2019


Czech Centre

Date 30 Apr 2019 10:12:00

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