ISBN: 80-7215-159-2|Published: 2002|Pages: 144|SOLD
Binding: Softbound|Format: 160 x 180 mm|Graphic design: Pavel Lev, Studio Najbrt
A native of the coal and steel town of Ostrava, Moravia, Viktor Kolář (born in 1941) has been taking photographs of his hometown ever since he was a boy. A brief period as an émigré in Canada (1968–73) resulted in another group of photographs. Later, Kolář accepted the occasional commission, including one for a book on Prague, where, since 1993, he has been commuting to teach photography at the renowned FAMU film school. All his departures, however, are only digressions from his main theme, Ostrava. For Kolář it is not merely a strangely rough and ready, enthrallingly awful town, it is also his whole world, the place where he searches for universal themes. He is fascinated, above all, by men and women’s ability to survive in grueling conditions. Whereas in the 1960s Kolář was drawn to the originality of the faces that had resisted being wiped blank by the pressures of the surrounding world, during the more than twenty years of the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia he focused on the destructive homogenization of the faces of its people. In the most recent period of great change in the country, which began in November 1989, he has been searching for the signs of the new freedom that, among other things, has been arduous and unnerving for many people, who are now often helplessly groping their way through a life very different from what they once knew.