Fotograf Magazine

Zuzana Šrámková

24 March – 22 April, 2017


Zuzana Šrámková’s exhibition has unexpectedly revived the gallery dramaturgy which only rarely introduces us to contemporary documentary photography. It is actually significant that the exhibition project was taken over from the Valchařská Gallery in Brno, where the photographer and the curator, Lukáš Bártl, presented it last year. For the Fotograf Gallery, they shortened its title from Spodní proud (Underflow) to Spodní (also a street name in the city of Ostrava) and slightly modified the content according to the needs and possibilities of the exhibition space.

In the accompanying text, Lukáš Bártl stated that Spodní Street in Ostrava is “actually an excluded locality, where five years ago, several young people settled in one of the houses and created a community of a kind”. Šrámková took photographs of the community members, their living space and style for some time. For the photographer and music promoter in one person, it was important to be seen and feel like one of them. This allowed her to “document” the inhabitants of the legal squat not as an exotic spectacle but as a mosaic of telling details of the life of people who organise their lives according to ideas that don’t match the lifestyle of the majority of society yet do not fundamentally go against it either.

The Fotograf Gallery also organised a parallel exhibition, presenting Polaroid pictures by photographer and musician Edgar Schwarz. Sometimes, his diary from the days when he lived in Ostrava – full of sexuality, alcohol and self-defined perversions – intersected with the life of the community in Spodní Street, although it was clearly its eccentric and provocative opposite as well.

Ondřej Mezera