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SIX STORIES FROM THE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY 1839-2019

Photographers

Karol Divald, Hermann Weissbach, Rudolf Würsching, Gusztáv Matz, Karol Körper, Béla Mindszenty, František Hodoš, Gusztáv Löger, Alojz Baker, Pavol Socháň, Ladislav Noel, Ján Motulko, Pavel Pecha, Dušan Slivka, Dominika Jackuliaková, Ján Kekeli, Google Maps, Juraj Fifik, Eduard Kozics, Irena Blühová, Bohumil Puskailer, Dezider Hoffman, Karol Kállay, Tibor Huszár, Ľuba Lauffová, Tibor Borský, Milota Havránková, Ľubo Stacho, Lucia Gardin, Dušan Kochol, Miloš Dohnány, Viliam Malík, Karol Plicka, Martin Martinček, Ladislav Bielik, Martin Kollár, Boris Németh, Vojtech Alexander, Miro Gregor, Judita Csáderová, Pavel Janek, Jana Hojstričová, Dorota Sadovská, Rudo Sikora, Monika Stacho, Ján Krížik, Rudolf Lendel, Miloš Bazovský, Igor Grossmann, Elo Havetta, Albert Marenčin, Alex Mlynárčik, Kamil Varga, Martin Kochan, Monogramista T.D, Ján Budaj, Ľubomír Ďurček, Michal Kern, Petra Feriancová

 

If you were interested in photography in 1989 you couldn‘t help but notice that photography was celebrating its 150th anniversary. Two huge exhibitions took place in Prague, which were in preparation for many years by a large team of experts headed by Daniela Mrázková. The  visitors could see the result during the two summer months through the beautiful premises of Prague‘s Mánes (What Is Photography? 150 Years of Photography), and Paths of Czechoslovak Photography at the Stone Bell House of Old Town Square in Prague. Similarly, institutions in Warsaw, Budapest and Vienna also joined the anniversary.

In 2019, when you enter “180 years of photography” into Google search, you will find that, in addition to one exhibition dedicated to: the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the 70th anniversary of the Academy of Fine Arts and the establishment of the Department of Photography in 1990, it also claims that it is a reminder of the 180th anniversary of photography, otherwise nobody commemorates anything.

I do not know why this is so – perhaps this is because if you wanted to exhibit original enlargements from the world‘s collections in 1989, you could get them with not too much difficulty, but at present it would be an attempt that would require a crew of lawyers and not months, but years of preparation. But the reasons may also be more prosaic – that is, photography is so rich in gallery and museum programs that it would be just one more show title, whereas in 1989 it was a truly an extraordinary event, because for many critics and art historians, photography was not sufficiently dignified, collectible or an object for exhibition.  The Central European House of Photography, which presents around fifteen exhibitions, in conjunction with the Month of Photography, with nearly 50 photographic exhibitions per year, is along with the Museum of Photography, the result of a radical 30-year long change. As we are the exclusive promoters of photography in Slovakia, it is natural that we are the only one to remind others of the 180th anniversary of photography. (The French government bought the

invention of photography from Louis Daguerre on August 19, 1839 and donated it for free use to humanity.)

Our exhibition possibilities have allowed us to prepare only a modest overview of events in Slovakia from 1839 – 2019. We divided this wide genre and generic spectrum of production into six chapters – landscape, portrait, reportage, body, play and painters who also photograph. Six curators have prepared a selection that, in addition to continuity, also remind us of change. In each chapter, the viewer can meet with authorities in the field, and also with lesser-known authors. The viewer is given a chance to live the passage of time and the transformation in the given genre but also learns a lot about photography as a whole; last but not least the visitor can also view changes in society and culture.

The oldest photograph at the exhibition is from approximately 1840 and the latest from 2019. The exhibition includes works by 60 authors.

 

Date of exhibition: 3. 7. – 1. 9. 2019