Miroslav Tichy --Why?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Ross Chambers, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    This grubby old fart seems to have achieved some sort of late life fame (he's 82) with exhibitions currently in London, Paris (at the Pompidou) and here in Sydney (at the Biennale)

    His prints are possibly the worst I've seen anywhere; rat chewed (literally -- he lives in squalor) every possible fault in the negatives, chemistry spotted, some subjects photographed from TV screens -- but the curators and galleries love him.

    There may be a point, as made in "The Guardian" by Geoff Dyer, that (some) photographers are obsessed with new gear and perfection of technique, and my belief that popular music needed someone like The Sex Pistols -- whose primitive impact on art rock has perhaps some affinity to the critics' perception of Tichy, but that group of musos at least had the grace to fade away disgracefully, this junk merchant is le dernier cri.

    What am I missing? Damnit I made a second 80 km trip for another look after reading Dyer's write up, and they just got worse!

    There is a film running with the exhibition; one scene depicts Tichy urinating in the street, I know exactly how that footpath felt!

    Regards - Ross
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  3. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    The "object" of art here is the obsession - not the photographs themselves. The photographs are merely pointers - they gesture towards that object. Precisely why I don't pretend to "get" contemporary art and confine myself to the renaissance. Less bullshit to put up with!
     
  4. Matthijs

    Matthijs Subscriber

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    I think it's amazing that he managed to create a recognizable image with the crappy home made camera he's using. See this page for more info: http://photoshopnews.com/2006/04/24/the-hand-made-camera-of-miroslav-tichy/

    Although his tools are fascinating and the stories behind the images (and the person) interesting, that doesn't automatically qualify his photos as art, IMHO.
     
  5. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    What is to be expected when the so-called "Art World" can hang a crucifix in a beaker of urine, give it a profane title I will not even repeat here, and then ooh and aah over the "breakthrough" that such "art" represents. Sadly, Tichy is merely indicative of Western cultural decline and decadence, IMHO. :sad:
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Before you all tear him to bits lets see some images.

    You can say what you like but post a link to his images first. !!!!!!!

    Ian
     
  7. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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  8. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Subscriber

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    This is the first time I've seen his work I believe.
    Print-wise-from a technical perspective -I find his prints very poor. That being said, I find his 'work' otherworldly, unique, original, raw, stripped down and yet beautiful.
    It's not representational photography, it's art derived from photographic means and materials.

    I like Rothko and Luigi Nono too.
     
  9. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Actually something was posted here back in March: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum56/48335-miroslav-tich-frankfurt-mmk.html

    I haven't seen them in person, but from what I've seen online, I don't have a problem with the (lack of) optical/print quality - it's kind of like "extreme Holga".

    My issue with it is his obsession with photographing women, usually from a distance - it's very voyeuristic to me. Combine this with his appearance and documented "loner" lifestyle and habits, and he comes off as a stereotypical "creepy old man", leering at women. Maybe it's just my hang-up, projecting this onto him, but I can't get past it to see any potential artistic greatness.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2008
  10. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I agree, he sure comes across to me as the creepy old man. Photos of women through chain link fences-yuck!

    Richard Wasserman


     
  11. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    Art is subjective - that's the obvious part.

    There will always be a group ( considering themselves 'eclectic') that will force themselves to identify with what a majority finds sloppy/offensive, etc. It's almost like an extension of kids' "rebelling" in their teen years; as I've called it, the expression of "individuality" en masse, which is in itself rather comical to me.

    This guy has a following that supports him - laugh at it for what it really is and truck on.

    Perhaps a modern Rasputin?
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I don't have any problem with his methods or his output (as far I can see). I mean it is what it is, take it or leave it. If you find it creepy and voyeuristic then the next guy will say that's the whole point. So I won't say that it is creepy and voyeuristic.

    I do definitely wonder about the state of modern photography, though, if this is all it takes to be considered creative / original / eclectic / eccentric. I suppose that this whole primitive photography thing has to eventually rise in opposition to the digital culture of overprocessed perfection.
     
  13. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    ha, never heard of him before, how come? excellent stuff. bookmarking now

    (hmmm... looks like i'm "the next guy." yes, that is the whole point :smile:)
     
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  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    I love it!!!
     
  16. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's cool.
     
  17. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I think its actually our very own Jbrunner. He works with a makeup artist to create the look of a homeless man.

    brilliant J. Sorry to let the cat outta the bag... but I just couldn't hold it in.
     
  18. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    After doing a little research, it sounds like nothing more than a sickening story of manipulation and greed, by the charlatans that "discovered" Tichy. The found this manipulable old character with his pervy photos, scooped the photos up for a few bucks, and promoted him as the next big thing, so the photos could be sold for big money. Throw in a few insecure addle-brained curators, and you have the new flavor of the month. I like and respect a lot of contemporary art, but sometimes people need to grow a pair and call bullshit.
     
  19. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    "They constitute a large oeuvre of poetic, dreamlike views of feminine beauty in a small town under the Czechoslovak Communist régime."

    Well, I can honestly say I have never seen that before.
     
  20. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Oddly enough I think the pictures really do have something more than just technical shortcomings - and I can see thae exactly these shortcomings are part of the whole work as art. As often each individual picture is bad, but put several together and they start to grow on you (me, at least).
     
  21. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    They are good in group and it is usually prudent to ignore what the promoters and critiques say about any work until you've formed your own opinion. How they found him or what they say about his work should have little or no bearing on whether or not the work is art to *your* eye.
     
  22. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Ansell Adams prints were full of 'defects' too, don't see anyone slamming him.
     
  23. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Art critics and art entrepeneurs are, IMO "real works." Was it Dean Swift who wrote about the critics and "interpreters" "who see more in Homer than what Homer wrote?"
    For mine own self, if I wish to see what a crippled elderly man without modern equipment could tell us about art photography in Communist Czecholsovakia, I'll go back to Josef Sudek.
     
  24. jmal

    jmal Member

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    I used to like the bits and pieces of his work that I had seen on the net. I eventually found an inexpensive book of his and was completely underwhelmed when it arrived. All sense of wonder disappeared and it just felt like a collection of crappy lo-fi photos. I must be losing it because I'd rather look at a cyanotype of fruit in a bowl.
     
  25. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    Oh my gods, this man is a real genius! His photographs are in the
    same league as Havel's dramas, and his world view seems to be
    every bit as sophisticated. Tichy should become the next president
    of Czechistan. He's possibly a bit old, though, but so is John
    McCain.
     
  26. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Absolutely quotable :smile: