8 Josef Koudelka on Searching for the Maximum
12 Photography or Destiny?
22 The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Photographer
28 The Eye Exists in the Wild State
30 The Maximum, That’s What’s Always Interested Me
In this retrospective exhibition, Josef Koudelka revealed a side of himself, which we rarely see as it is usually covered up by the striking aesthetical quality of his photographs. Over time this apparent globetrotter has shown himself to be an engaged photographer whose now world-renowned, fundamental subject matter is, internally, always related to his native land, whether as a conscious message or out of a subconscious need. In the work, the local dimension meets the universal. Shortly after leaving his homeland he began to work with Magnum Photos, and, in 1974, became the only Czech full member of this international agency. After returning to Czechoslovakia for the first time since his departure, Koudelka photographed the devastation of the natural environment in the Ore Mountains of Bohemia, from 1990 to 1994. The photographs exhibited and published as The Black Triangle, tie into the set made with a panoramic camera in northern France, an area that has also been greatly affected by human intervention. These photographs became part of Koudelka’s large project called ‘Chaos’, which this retrospective concluded with. In the devastated landscape of today, Koudelka has found “tragic untamed beauty”, the search for which may be understood as Koudelka’s lifelong topic.
Date of Publication: 2008
Number of pages: 132