Fotograf Magazine

Dušan Tománek

Behind the Curtain

I first met Dušan on the occasion of the exhibition The Blind Leading the Blind at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague. The graphic designer on the project Robert V. Novák and I both wanted the accompanying catalogue to capture as closely as possible the installation of the works by Jake and Dinos Chapman. At that point I was aware of Dušan Tománek as a respected photographer, one whose work had been honoured with exhibitions as well as often just popping up every now and then, via magazines, CD covers, or in artists’ books. I think the first time his name was brought to my attention was in an editorial entitled ‘superkůl brýle’ (Übercool Shades) which he published in the first issue of the magazine Komfort Mag, Čtení k vodě (Beach Reading, 2008). The scheduled photo session with the Chapman brothers did not seem to be happening at all; I kept waiting for Dušan to start giving “orders” and set about arranging the ideal shot, but instead, he abruptly announced that he was done, that he had everything he needed. However brief this encounter, I felt that he knew exactly what he was doing and had no doubt concerning the result. Despite the final version of the catalogue requiring the number of images of the installation to be reduced, Dušan’s photographs made an ideal introduction into the book. He managed to capture all that was essential – from Dinos’ gaze of intense concentration to Jake’s profile, bearing visible marks of an altercation the previous night.

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