Josef Sudek: The Topography of Ruins (Prague)
22 May – 19 August 2018
Prague City Gallery
House of Photography
Revoluční 5, Prague 1
The exhibition presents a nearly unknown and as yet unexhibited set of photographs by Josef Sudek (1896–1976), who in 1945 photographed Prague’s monuments damaged during the Second World War, in particular during the air raid of 14 February 1945 and the Prague Uprising. The photographs show the changes wrought on the urban landscape by the war, and also depict various wartime protective measures. Among other things, the nearly 400 surviving negatives show Emmaus Monastery, Old Town Hall, Old Town Square and the surrounding area, and the scrapyard at Maniny where various metal sculptures and bells were stored. These photographs were previously shown only in publications from that era, in particular the “1946 Prague Calendar” published by Václav Poláček with the subtitle “Prague’s Cultural Losses 1939–1945.”
The exhibited photographs are unique within the context of Sudek’s overall body of work. Sudek’s photographic look into the inner life of the city and its monuments during the first days of peace, with its images of Prague’s citizens viewing the ruins of the historic city center, are a rare moment when his work comes close to reportage photography. One of the subjects that the exhibition takes a critical look at is photography as a medium for presenting important historical events, with an emphasis on the photographs’ visual quality – a factor that is often overlooked. The exhibition also presents images by other photographers (both known and anonymous) from fifteen private and public collections.
The exhibition is part of SUDEK PROJECT. It was created by the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Prague City Gallery in collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. Starting in early 2018, a traveling version of the exhibition organized by the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in collaboration with Czech Centers will be shown in several cities throughout Europe.
Curators: Mariana Kubištová, Vojtěch Lahoda, Katarína Mašterová
Author of Later Prints: Vlado Bohdan
Coordinator (Prague City Gallery): Jitka Hlaváčková
Design of the Exhibition: Barbara Zedková a Lenka Mrzílková – Studio Miaow
Graphic Design: Martin Groch, Tim+Tim
Treatment of Photographs: Martina Chadimová, Kateřina Doležalová, Barbara Gajewská, Petra Šemíková, Dantik, Prague City Gallery
Translation: Stephan von Pohl, Ondřej Krochmalný, Zuzana Pištěková
Copy Editing: Studio Datle, Vladimíra Šefranka Žáková
Installation and Production (Prague City Gallery): Diana Brabcová (Head), Radka Lhotáková, Jana Koubková
Head of Public Relations and Marketing (Prague City Gallery): Michaela Vrchotová
Head of Educational Programs (Prague City Gallery): Lucie Haškovcová
Acknowledgements of Lenders: B&M Chochola Archive, Prague City Archives, Archive of the National Museum, Prague Castle Archives, Moravian Gallery in Brno, City of Prague Museum, National Heritage Institute, Paul Studio Archive, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Military Central Archives – Military History Archives Prague, Military History Institute in Prague, private lenders
Special Acknowledgements: Sudek Project team, Jitka Štětková, Jan Mlčoch, Martina Chadimová, David Klouček
Media Partners: Art&Antiques, Art for Good, ArtMap, Český rozhlas, Expres FM, Literární noviny, Prague Events Calendar, protisedi.cz, Radio 1, XANTYPA
Monday, 21 May 2018 at 6 pm. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Magdalena Juříková, Director of Prague City Gallery and its concept will be introduced by the exhibition curators Katarína Mašterová and Mariana Kubištová.
Open daily except for Mondays 10 am – 6 pm, Thursdays 10 am – 8 pm.
Admission: 120 CZK full (adults) / 60 CZK reduced (students) / 30 Kč (seniors)
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Artefactum publishing house of the Czech Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Art History in collaboration with Prague City Gallery.
ACCOMPANYING PROGRAMS & EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES:
(For complete list see website of the Prague City Gallery.)
Saturday, 2 June 2018 at 4 pm
Guided tour with curator Mariana Kubištová and photographer Vlado Bohdan.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 10 am/2 pm (workshop) and 6 pm (moderated discussion)
Negative – Positive – New Print! (click for the detail program of the event). Workshop in the dark room with a demonstration of the production of the new print from Sudek's negative; and a moderated discussion on the topic of making new prints from the old negatives.
Institute of Art History of the CAS, Husova 4, Prague 1 / House of Photography GHMP, Revoluční 5, Prague 1
Sunday, 22 July 2018 at 3 pm
Authors’ collective will present the project of the map of Prague in 1945, which comprises the sites photographed then by Josef Sudek, and a short tour of the exhibition; followed by an outdoor walk in the footsteps of Josef Sudek’s locations in the Old Town Square area.
Wednesday, 8 August 2018 at 6 pm
Guided tour with curator Katarína Mašterová and historian Adam Havlík.