The Soul of Things: Emila Medková and Pavel Nešleha

The exhibition is part of the Fotograf Festival – Seeing is Believing (1-​31 October 2014) and it takes place in the Art Archive at DOX at Small Tower.

In 1951, Emila Medková met artists focused around Karel Teige, and after marrying Mikuláš Medek she began participating in the group’s activities. She arranged her first images in the spirit of surrealist poetry, and later began photographing found objects, things stigmatized not only by use, but also neglect and time. The objective, black and white images are impersonal while simultaneously full of painful participation.

Pavel Nešleha also photographs places to which he has a relationship. “When I thought about why I actually take pictures and what forces me to visit and photograph windfalls in the Šumava primeval forest, sandstone cliffs, remnants of old stairways, landscapes and horizons of the Central Bohemian Uplands – the land of Mácha’s wanderings – and abandoned, devastated works of Matyáš Braun and Václav Levý, which as they merge with nature are ever more expressive, I realized that I am searching for and uncovering something deeply rooted in me, perhaps my own essence, perhaps traces of archetypes of home, homeland, and cultural traditions that formed us.”

The photographs of Emila Medková and Pavel Nešleha differ in subject, format, and technique. They are based in reality without being descriptive. They may not feature people, but their main subject is our ephemerality, uncertainty, and vulnerability.

Curators: Jiří Hůla, Jan Kuntoš