Dušan Šimánek
— Herbarium

Opening: On Thursday, January 31, at 6 pm
Curator: Jiří Ptáček

During his more than four-decade-long artistic career, Dušan Šimánek (*1948) has become an unforgettable personality in Czech photography. He works on his open-themed collections both freely and in a focused manner. This gives his work an integrity that he also allows viewers to understand, in his new works, that he has over the long term developed a stance or view that could have easily been defined some decades prior. In a historical context, Šimánek has contributed to the domestic visual culture by highlighting the sovereign creative qualities of the photographic medium. His sensual sensitivity and his ability to accent images’ colorist and structural characteristics have happily expressed themselves in his work. His photographs, however, also show a social dimension; namely, through his choice of models from the field of the mundane “folk” aesthetic. This also applies to his new collection Herbarium in which he focuses on the phenomenon of natural imitation. As part of his basic “analytical” plan, he approaches the subject of artificial plants as if it were an autonomous creative problem of color and grid. His means of developing photos shows signs of a sentimental bias that would seem to correspond to the beautifying role of floral decorations. As a result, though, he leads the viewer to a feeling of uncertainty about the irreversible changes in the world around us.

The text by Pavel Vančát on Šimánek´s “Silence” series, published in Fotograf Magazine #18 “80´”