PHOTOGRAPHY AS PHOTOGRAPHY
Searching for visualism on the example of works by Karel Kameník, Josef Moucha and Bořek Sousedík
The exhibition held at Gallery Školská 28 presents a selection from the work of three distinguished figures of the generation of Czech photographers whose artwork was formated during the 80s. The frame of reference used by Tomáš Pospěch, is the term of visualism, which was coined in the 1980 by the media artist and theorist Andreas Müller-Pohle. It remains a question as to whether or not such tendencies can be defined as visualism in the Czech context, or rather seen as a response to the impulses of subjective documentary, or as a reflection of the program of elementary photography, as was much discussed in Poland at that time. In any case, during the 80s, visualism was a major influence, with dozens of European photographers claiming allegiance to the trend. In recent years, the photographs of Josef Moucha, Karel Kameník and Bořek Sousedík have been exhibited only rarely in Prague. The exhibition thus offers a unique opportunity to see these images in the broader context of a retrospective of the 80s photography. In the Czech environment, the authors connected to visualism were the ones leaving the traditional, mostly socially formulated document, for a more subjective authors statement. For them, photography was not a reproduction of objects anymore, and interpretation of socially expressed content, but was becoming “an experience of the seeing” connected with searching for an autonomous photographic expression. Such photography is not absorbed by what denotes, because it refers most importantly on itself. Therefore visualism is among others also visual contemplaiton on photography, a metalanguage.