Fotograf Magazine

Dušan Skala’s and Jan Freiberg’s Slow Photography

February 28 – April 4, 2014


The program of Fotograf Gallery is also inclusive of artists who work only marginally with photography. In this case, the curator Jiří Ptáček has selected artists who pursue, or rather have pursued, photography to the exclusion of all other media. An additional challenge to his project is the fact that both artists have taken a rather lengthy pause in their careers.

Both Jan Freiberg and Dušan Skala studied at the Faculty of Art and Design in Ústí nad Labem, at the studio of Pavel Baňka, which spawned a large number of artists with a unique way of relating to the medium (to mention just a few: Tereza Kabůrková, Tomáš Hrůza, Markéta Kinterová, and Silvie Milková). If the shared features of the exhibition are a pause in the artistic career, the background of Ústí nad Labem, and living away from the big city, one may also rank Lukáš Kubec alongside the two artists.

In his assiduity and care not to omit anything, Jiří Ptáček fulfills the role of the curator in the original sense of the word; without misplaced creativeness he inquires as to what may be the possibilities of following the oeuvre interrupted, as well as probing the influence of the organizational aspects of the art scene on the lives of these two individuals.

The concept of the exhibition expressed in the title further opens a broader issue, affirmed by the attitudes of both artists. Slowness as a response to rapidity alludes to the dromology of Paul Virilio. 1)Everything is speed, 2)speed destroys reality, causing it to disappear. Slowness and abandoning the city serve as an opportunity for the revelation of reality, which both artists retained at the core of their work, Jan Freiberg through his darkly humorous body-art performances from the vicinity of Týnec, and Dušan Skala in his intimate and romantic images.

Denisa Bytelová