[Portfolio] - [Author] - [Contact] - [Home]

© Pavel Maria Smejkal


Over the course of my photographic work, I have become intrigued by famous
photographs, by instantly recognizable icons with content linked to fatal life
situations. These images have powerfully influenced generations of artists, who
have repeatedly referred to and commented on them through appropriation,
citation, paraphrase, and other methods, and many of them provoke a discussion
about the truth and reality.

In Fatescapes I combine the following approaches: I ask about the entity and
essence of our bodies; I examine historical themes using the existing photographic
record; I explore photography as a medium, interrogating its function of represen-
tation and the limits thereof; and I consider the aesthetics of the image itself.

In Fatescapes, I remove (using a classic tool of digital work today Adobe
Photoshop) the central motifs from historical documentary photographs - and
the main subject of these motifs, human bodies. I use images that have become
our cultural heritage, constitute the memory of nations, serve as symbols or tools
of propaganda, and exemplify a specific approach to photography as a document
of the historical moment. I explore their purpose and function, and I ask about the
future of this magic medium, and about human existence. Aware that their
authenticity is not unquestionable, I return to these key images after they have
been reinterpreted numerous times from various perspectives, and by manipulating
their content I explore their purpose, function, and future.

I am interested in the answer to this question: What would happen, if the given
event never took place? Further, I investigate the relationship between
documentary photography and archetypal landscape; the search for solid ground
in the turbulent world of human existence; the search for the eternal beyond
the ephemerality of our bodies and the fleetingness of our events. I ask what it is
that we are really doing when we take pictures, when the very next moment our
record becomes untrue, and there exists only the present. The work’s goal is to ask
many other questions about the photography, our live and history, and to provoke
to find answers...

PAVEL MARIA SMEJKAL, psmejkal@stonline.sk, 00421 905 346 552


Pavel Maria Smejkal, DM, MA, born in 1957 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Graduated his studies at the Veterinary University, Kosice, in 1983 and the
Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic,
2009 (MA). Works as free lance photographer, curator, lecturer. A chairman
of non profit organization PhotoART Centrum in Kosice, Slovakia.

Solo exhibitions:
2001, M.E.C.C.A., IMAGINE 21. 8. 2473, Terezin, CZ
2004, Tatranska galleria – A Factory, Open Your Eyes, Poprad, SK
2004, Galeria Panoptikum, Open Your Eyes, Kosice, SK
2005, Galerie Fiducia, The Family Of Man, Ostrava, CZ
2006, The Month of Photography, STARS, Bratislava, SK
2007, Cabinet of Photography, House of the Art, STARS, Opava, CZ
2007, Muzeum Vojtecha Lofflera, Forget Your Fears, Kosice, SK
2010, East Slovak Gallery, Fatescapes, Kosice, SK
2011, East Slovak Museum, FotoFest Kosice, Pornoorno, Kosice, SK

Selected group exhibitions:
2000, M.E.C.C.A., Terezin, CZ
2003, House of Culture, Opava, STARS, Opava, CZ
2006, Fotofestiwal, Manufaktura, Lodz, STARS, PL
2006, Prague House of Photography, Six, Prague, CZ
2006, Galeria Szara, Freedom, Egality… Art!, Polski Ciesyzn, PL
2007, Katowice, Freedom, Egality… Art!, Galeria Szara, PL
2007, Brotfabrik Galerie, Czech Start 1, Berlin, DE
2008, Pingyao International photography festival, Pingyao, China
2008, Domus Gallery, Lyon Septembre da la Photographie, STARS, Lyon, FR
2008, VAM Design Center, New Slovak Photography, STARS, Budapest, HU
2009, Prague Photo Biennale, New Slovak Photography, Prague, CZ
2010, 20 years of ITF, Silesian University, Brno, Prague, CZ, Oxford, UK
2010, Borders of Document, Galeria Sztuki Wspólczesnej, Przemysl, PL
2010, Slovak Photography 1990-2010, The Month of Photography, Bratislava, SK
2011, Critical Mass, Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA, USA
2011, Critical Mass, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR, USA
2011, Critical Mass, RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
2011, Les Rencontres d'Arles, From Here On, Arles, FR
2012, Delete, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, SK /in preparation/

Curator project's
2007 - 2012, Second Cities, www.2ndcities.net
2010, 2011,  FotoFest Košice – www.foto-fest.eu

Teaching experience:
2007 – 2008 Private film school, photography, Košice, Slovakia
2009 – 2010 private lectures and lessons in photography, Košice, Slovakia
2010 – 2011 Faculty of Art, Photopraphy, Technical University, Košice, Slovakia

Critical Mass Book Award finalist 2010

Private collections - USA, France
Collections – Musée Français de la Photographie, Bi?vres

2012, Vrij Nederland, 11th February 2012, Jaargang 72, nr. 06, Amsterdam, NL
VN ISSN 0165 666
2012, New Your Times Lens blog, 4th January
2011, Katalog, Journal of Photography and video, 23.3, Museet for Fotokunst Brandts, ISSN 0904-2334, Odensee, DK
2011, Photoworks Magazine, No. 17, 2011, Photoworks, ISSN 1742-1659, Brighton, UK
2011, Photonews, Nr. 9/11, September 2011, p.4, Photonews Verlag, ISSN 1612-4413, Hamburg, DE
2011, Paris Match, p 38-40, du 5 au 12 Juillet 2011, Paris Match, Paris, FR
2011, Les Rencontres d'Arles 2011, festival catalogue, ISBN 978-2-7427-9804-9, Actes Sud, Paris, FR
2011, From Here On, exhibition catalogue, Les Rencontres d'Arles 2011
2010, Takí sme boli, project catalogue, PhotoART centrum, Košice, Slovakia
2010, Second Cities, project catalogue, PhotoART centrum, Košice, Slovakia
2010, 20 years of Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University, Opava, CZ
2010, Selected elected, Slovak elections in photography,1994-2006, Jozef Ondzik and col., INY, Bratislava, SK. ISBN 978-80-970375-0-5
2009, Kaunas Photo Recycled, Šviesos Raštas, festival catalogue, ISBN 978-609-8032-03-1, Kaunas, LT
2008, Round table, Catalogue IPFF Summit, ISBN 978-7-5059-6048-0, Pingyao, China
2008, Second Cities, Košice 2008, Pavel Maria Smejkal, Košice
2008, Fotóhónap – Photodialogue, A Magyar Fotómüvészek Szövetsége Fesztiválja, HU
2008, Lyon Septembre de la photographie, Silvana Editoriale, Milano
2008, New Slovak Photography, Macek, V., Fisˇerová, L., FOTOFO, Bratislava
2007, Imago No. 23, FOTOFO, Bratislava, SK, pp. 44 - 49
2007, Second Cities 2007, Pavel Maria Smejkal, Kosˇice
2003, Institute of Creative Photography FPF SU in Opava, works 1998-2003, Katalog. Kant, Praha

back to Fatescapes >>>

68 images, not finished wider version >>>