Šimon Štrba
— Four Dimensions


Opening: Thursday, January 14, at 6 pm
Curator: Jiří Ptáček

The aim of the Four Dimensions exhibit is the reconstruction of the legacy of young, talented photographer, Šimon Štrba (1991-2014). By presenting his collections and other solitary photographs, we attempt to outline both the artist’s sensitivity to the photographic image as well as his approach to photography as a tool for investigating his own living space. For example, Mr. Štrba moved freely between taking spontaneous photographic records, later often used in his artistic publications, and conceptually-arranged collections. He always tried to underscore the relationship and emotional aspects of his work. His photo diary, a visit to places related to his birth, or his creation of totemic still-lifes for those persons closest to him generally seem, in his work, to be tied to his desire for evidence of what belonged to his life and what he did not wish to leave unsaid. Thanks to Šimon’s work, photography once again proved to be a transitional path toward self-recognition and expression of a relationship to that which we understand to be important in the circumstances of our lives.

The core of the exhibition, of course, is the presentation of Štrba’s four “authorized” collections. The artist put together Totems of Everydayness as tangible emblems of the people closest to him. Due to the configuration of the images and the reproductions of his childhood sketches and doodles in his records (Return to Earliest Origins of My Existence), he began working again in Slovakia, so that he could reconnect with the places his parents came from and where he himself was born. Both collections can be considered a sort of image genealogy, or possibly his detailed, personal mythology.

A mock-up of his most extensive artistic book, Portfolio, summarizes not only his oldest images (2009-2012), but also points to his ability to find meaningful images in his own living space and to combine them based on visual analogies in a richly structured image narrative. Its counterpart is the aforementioned cycle, Fourth Dimension. Despite the fact that it differs significantly from anything we’ll find at the exhibition (perhaps because it’s a joint work done with Tereza Bonaventurová), it intimates another way of thinking about photography’s possibilities as a formal game for finding a “fourth dimension” through reduction of three-dimensional space into flat displays.

Jiří Ptáček

The artist’s friends helped prepare this exhibition; along with pedagogues and his family. The exhibition has been put together with financial support from the Faculty of Art and Design at UJEP in Ústí nad Labem, where Šimon Štrba attended Pavel Baňka’s Photography Studio. On Tuesday, 26 January, at 6 pm there will be a christening of a complete catalog of Šimon’s works. Earnings from catalog sales will be given to charity.

On Thursday, 14 January, starting at 8 pm, there will be a christening of the artistic publication, Tvoje věc / Your Issue (editors: Matěj Smetana and Jiří Ptáček).