Jan Svoboda

In my portfolio review Sarah Hayes suggested that I take a look at Svobodas work. Especially Agianst the Light series. A fanstastic recommendation as I had not seen his work before. It has been mentioned before that I have a poetic approach to my work, Svoboda started out illustrating his poems with photographs. Our subject matter is similar and his pioneering approach in conceptual photography is really inspiring.

Svoboda wanted to redefine his photographic practice. He did this by experimenting with deconstructing the process and form of the photograph. He began by looking at medium from a more hands on perspective, a process used more in painting and sculpture. My practice for the last year has been focused on this way of working. I feel that our approach is similar from the experimentation to boundary pushing. This led to him being viewed as a pioneer of conceptual photography. By the end of the 1960s his work was almost completely studio based.

His systematic observations of of Prague in his series View of the Gasworks in the late 50s are reminiscent of my work with the silos and rice dryers here in Houston.

‘Jan Svoboda: Against the Light’. 2019. The Photographers’ Gallery [online]. Available at: https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition/jan-svoboda-against-light [accessed 25 Mar 2021].

LAB.SNG. 2021. ‘Jan Svoboda – Pohled na plynárnu / View of the Gasworks’. Web umenia [online]. Available at: https://sbirky.moravska-galerie.cz/dielo/CZE:MG.MG_16538 [accessed 29 Mar 2021].

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