Thursday, March 26, 2009

Czech it:12 Czech photographers exhibit new work at SPACE

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Contact: Veronica Corpuz, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
(412) 471-6082 / corpuz(AT)

Czech it
12 Czech photographers exhibit new work at SPACE
April 3 – May 31, 2009
SPACE, 812 Liberty Avenue, Cultural District
Pittsburgh, PA
Opening Reception on Friday, April 3, 5-7pm

PITTSBURGH, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and SPACE present Czech it, an exhibition by eleven Czech photographers, co-curated by Jen Saffron and Eva Heyd, the director of the Prague House of Photography. Czech it showcases the contributions of three generations of photographers, each responding to distinct social and political times of the Czech Republic, which over the past 80 years has seen war, communism and revolution. Ranging from the 1920s to now, Czech it chronicles Bauhaus-influenced avant-garde abstractions, post-war reportage of social oppression, and the emerging new aesthetics following the Velvet Revolution.

Tomas Hart, Commercial Consul from the New York Consul General's Office, is planning to attend the opening on April 3 as well as Carol Hochman, the Pittsburgh region's honorary Czech Consul. Of note is that the Pittsburgh Agreement, which declared the founding of the Czecho-Slovak state, was signed in downtown Pittsburgh in 1918, just down the street from SPACE Gallery.

Czech it includes selections of three films from the series entitled Rare Bohemians II, screened at the Harris Theater, directly across the street from SPACE. Bored in Brno will be screened at the Harris, Friday, April 3, at 8 p.m.

A gallery party called One Night Stand will be held on Friday, April 24, at 8 p.m. The event will feature screenings and live performances by Martijn van Boven, Tez, Telcoystems and Gert-Jan Prins & Bas van Koolwijk.

A major exhibition highlight includes vintage portfolios by avant-garde masters Jaromír Funke and Eugen Wiškovský, featuring their pre-war abstracts that speak to the Bauhaus. Works by Funke, Wiškovský and other Czech avant-garde photographers from the 1920 and 30s are rarely exhibited in the U.S.

Jen Saffron, co-curator and photographer, initially conceived of this exhibition through her participation in a workshop with renowned Czech documentary photographer, Jindřich Štreit. Štreit, from the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, recorded the decades before the Velvet Revolution, documenting the every day trials of rural villagers struggling under an oppressive regime. Following the presentation of his documentation of village poverty, he himself experienced government censure in the forced closing of his photographic exhibition and grammar school where he served as Headmaster. He has ten works in the exhibit, dating from the late 1970s.

With a critical and ironic eye, Dana Kyndrová's photography quietly underscore the plights of women surviving the fading days of Czech's communist rule. Contemporary Czech photographers include Dana Kyndrová, Štěpán Grygar, Evžen Sobek, Michal Pěchouček, Kateřina Držková, Petra Malá, Kristyna Milde, Alena Kotzmanová. Work ranges from black and white fiber prints to saturated color ink-jets, including the work of members from the Prague House of Photography, one of the exhibition sponsors.
This exhibition is supported in part by the Prague House of Photography, Czech Center New York, Vladimir Birgus, Tomás Pospiszyl and Tomas Hart (Commercial Consul from the New York Consul General's Office). The films are presented as part of a touring series RARE BOHEMIANS II, produced by Irena Kovarova in collaboration with the Czech Film Center. Additional support provided by the Czech Embassy and Czech Center New York; Center for Russian and East European Studies and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; and Point Park University. Special thanks to Murray Horne, Volodia Padunov, Lucy Fischer, Carol Hochman, Gary Kaboly, Fred Johnson, Andrew Swensen, and Rich Engel.

A project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, SPACE is free and open to the public Tuesday-Thursday 11:00 am-6:00 pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. For more information call (412) 325-7723 or visit

Exhibition Details

Exhibition dates: April 3 – May 31 Co-curated by Jen Saffron and Eva Heyd

Opening Reception: Friday, April 3, 5 – 7 p.m. free and open to the public

Opening Film Screening: Bored in Brno at the Harris, Friday, April 3, 8 p.m. Additional Czech films at the Harris Theater, April 3 – 9,

One Night Stand: art, music, performance – April 24 7:30 – 11:30pm

SPACE Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-8pm812 Liberty Avenue, Cultural District - Pittsburgh412-325-7723,


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