|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, September 29, 2016
|Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka, a nomad who 'shapes the world' with his camera lens|
Czech photographer Josef Koudelka looks at one of the photographs in his exhibit "Invasion 68 Prague", organized by the French Institute and the Czech Centre in Bucharest, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia, on October 17, 2013. The exhibition that presents the historical moments of Prague Spring in August 1968 will run until February 2, 2014. Forty-five years after capturing the Soviet invasion of Prague, Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka says he is more interested in "shaping the world" with his camera lens than in front-page events. AFP PHOTO / ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI.
By: Mihaela Rodina
BUCHAREST (AFP).- Forty-five years after capturing the Soviet invasion of Prague, Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka says he is more interested in "shaping the world" with his camera lens than in front-page events.
"A photographer's work is to have an opinion about things, about the world, and to react to the world," Koudelka, 75, said in an interview in French with AFP in Bucharest where an exhibition of his pictures has opened.
"What I do is look through my viewer and try to shape the world. As I do this, the world too is shaping me," he added.
The white-bearded, blue-eyed photographer said that in every country where he has travelled he was after events and people that were not necessarily newsworthy.
"The important thing is that I have touched upon the major topics of my times," he said, citing the gypsies, or Roma, as a subject to which he devoted himself in the 1960s, as well as environment-related topics.
Koudelka said his latest book, "The Wall", comprising panoramic landscape photos he made between 2008 and 2012 along the barrier separating Israel and the Palestinian territories, "is not pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel but against the way man treats the Earth".
"To me, this wall is a crime against the landscape. People can defend themselves but the landscape cannot. There you have a landscape that is holy to a large part of mankind and they are destroying it," he sai
A self-confessed nomad who emigrated from then Czechoslovakia in 1970, Koudelka said he had never lived for more than three months in one country over the past 40 years.
"I don't really feel like a citizen of any country. I'm not Czech like the Czechs, and I have a French passport but I don't feel French like the French."
"Luckily, because I don't want to be like the others."
What he says he knows for sure is where he comes from. "It's southern Moravia. And I know I come from there because there you can find the best music in the world."
'What happened in Czechoslovakia was a tragedy'
In August 1968, the then aeronautical engineer had just returned from a trip to Romania where he had photographed gypsies when the Soviet tanks roared into the Czech capital, wanting to crush a reform movement known as the Prague Spring.
"What happened in Czechoslovakia was a tragedy both for the Russians and for myself because I was part of the same system, and what happened to them could have happened to me," he said.
His black and white pictures showing the occupation of the city by Soviet troops were smuggled out of Prague and published anonymously, for fear of reprisals, in the Sunday Times of London.
The shots that earned him a Robert Capa prize are part of the Bucharest show titled "Invasion 68 Prague".
"Maybe I was just a little idiot with a camera but I think I did a pretty good job," Koudelka said.
Back in his native country in 1990, after the fall of Communism, he said he felt as if he was "drunk", thrilled "to hear people speak Czech" around him.
"It was great to walk in the streets that I knew, to meet people, to look at their faces."
A man constantly on the move who put together 61 pictures taken between 1968 and 1987 in a book called "Exiles", Koudelka said he agreed with a friend who said: "If exile doesn't kill you it makes you stronger."
"Exile comes with two gifts. One is that you can build your life all over again."
"The second one is that if you have the chance to return, which I never thought I would have, you see things with completely different eyes."
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
October 22, 2013
Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch painting on view at The Frick
Sotheby's to offer one of the largest and most important collections of shipwreck photographs
Sotheby's to auction fine Chinese ceramics from The Alfred Beit Foundation in London
Cleveland Museum of Art Director David Franklin resigns effective immediately
The Museum of Modern Art appoints Dave Kehr as Adjunct Curator in the Department of Film
Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka, a nomad who 'shapes the world' with his camera lens
Alejandra Peña-Gutiérrez named Executive Director of Museo de Arte de Ponce
Rare and princely 18th century bronze casket added to the Bowes Museum's treasures
An outstanding sheet drawn by Andrea Mantegna will be offered during the next auction by Farsettiarte
Over 300 lots that retrace the history of Rock 'n' Roll to be offered at Artcurial Briest Poulain F.Tajan
Christmas wishes will be granted at Bertoia's Nov. 8-10 auction of antique toys, trains and holiday antiques
John Grillo: 1940s, 1950s and 1960s on view at David Findlay Jr Gallery in New York
Sydney Opera House celebrates 40 years with Aboriginal dancers and a gigantic cupcake
Smithsonian exhibition traces European and American fascination with Indian devotion
Exhibition of new paintings by Syrian artist Mouteea Murad opens at Ayyam Gallery in Dubai
MSU Museum exhibits feature photographic portraits by Gilles Perrin
Radius Books publishes Barcelona by Janelle Lynch
After Modern Vermin Control: Nicolas Pol exhibits at Cardi Black Box in Milan
Bonhams appoint Iris Miao as Senior International Consultant of Chinese Paintings
Sapphires sizzle at Bonhams $6 million Jewelry Sale in New York
Major Impressionist, Post-Impressionist works from Texas collections lead European art sale
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on
2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence
3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean
4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists
5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck
6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture
7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs
8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit
9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists
10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.