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When I reflected on what characterised the last few years of work of Luděk Vojtěchovský, a well-known photographer from Pardubice, it occurred to me that the most fundamental feature is his ability to capture the fragmental nature of the world and turn it into an order. The journey to his current photographic expression and recognisable signature was gradual, logical, without a sudden deflexion or hurried period of experiments and fashions.

Luděk Vojtěchovský began his professional life as a reproduction photographer in Východočeske Print Works; later he worked as a photographer in the Regional Centre of National Monument Care in Pardubice.

Between 1974 and 1978, he photographed old people and children in the streets. In the following decade he concentrated on the city, it’s fragments, abandoned streets and chipped walls. In the last few years, apart from portraits, he photographed arranged compositions, which freely, but logically, follow on his previous images of city fragments. His current work involves mainly abstract compositions evoking the reality of towns and landscapes; but in contrast to his previous work they don’t originate on the ground but in the darkroom. The reality of the town with its streets and walls was replaced with the reality of objects, things around us, things we often don’t notice; and if we do, we only see it as a waste from our everyday activity. These banal objects, such as paper and carton cutoffs, glass with traces of drops of water, tins, textile fibres, dried leaves and many other objects the photographer places in new relationships and connectivities and thus creates a new reality - clean compositions of a fixed order, fictitious architecture of towns and landscapes. In Luděk Vojtěchovský’s compositions we feel hidden symbolism although the author probably didn’t intend it as such. Despite that it is present: it’s as if today’s world was lacking entireness. Its uncertainty, restlessness and its breakage into fragments is the sign of our present.

Luděk Vojtěchovský’s images are made the non-traditional way under the enlarger, without the use of a photographic camera. The author uses classical photography methods. He interferes with the negative either mechanically or chemically; he uses sandwiches (two negatives placed on top of each other in the enlarger).

Luděk Vojtěchovský’s work matured to high quality through intensive and longtime effort in quiet concentration. His production provides an evidence that the art of photography grows inconspicuously even outside the big centres and at the time of digital quirks of all sorts still (!) on the base of the classical photographic method.

Lubomír Netušil

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