Fotograf Magazine

Jano Pavlík

Tragik hravej generácie

Just a few years ago few people knew the work of Jano Pavlík (1963– 1988). Lack of literature, almost no exhibition activity, a hard way to access photographic legacy. A native son of the Slovak town, Snina, who came to study photography at FAMU in 1982 together with other Slovaks (later called the Slovak New Wave), and just five years later he interrupted his exceptional work forever with his voluntary death. For some an eccentric figure, a pleasant exhilaration of the excessively formal creations of the Slovak New Wave, for others an indiscernible character exhibiting selfserving scrawlings. Still, just a sort of postscript to an entire generation, a footnote. Pavlík’s work always was and still to a certain degree is “hard to swallow”, and this even by the most passionate supporters of imaginative and staged photography. It requires after all a certain mental effort – to abandon the traditional categories in which we are accustomed to viewing 1980’s photography and to accept that even then there were artists, who either consciously or unconsciously filled in a certain genre and technological interim space. In this sense, Pavlík is one of the first, consistently post-modern photographers from our country.

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Ernest na domácom elektrickom kresle (za trest, že toho chcel veľa vidieť), 1983–87, © dědicové
Ernest nič nehovoriaci a nič nevidiaci, 1982–86, © dědicové