Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New York Minute


Back in December I blogged about an upcoming exhibit that I was excited to see, the photography of Miroslav Tichý at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. Tichý is a Czech photographer with a fascinating history. You can read more about him in my earlier post and at Tichy Ocean.


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

What totally captivated me were his cameras, completely hand constructed from found objects! No photography was allowed at the gallery and for this post, pictures were provided by Foundation Tichy Ocean or shot from post cards bought at the show. Perhaps there is irony to be found in the fact that one cannot take photos of a photography exhibit!!


The exhibit did not disappoint. Although small in scope, the exhibit is well worth a visit. From the exhibit - "His photographs are sensual objects, artifacts of a deliberately abusive production process in which injury and distress are not only allowed but considered philosophically."


"Like a gleaner, he moves through the city, collecting the small moments that others might ignore or overlook."


His photographs were often framed with "a deliberate awkwardness, a denial of perfection." Sometimes mounted on old book covers, paper, or cardboard, his frames were styled with hand drawn lines - sometimes simple and at times quite ornate.

As part of the exhibit, there were two huge glass tanks filled with the "debris" of his career: cameras, film, piles of old photographs, books, leather camera cases, lights made from tin cans, old wooden frames, drawings, and pairs of glasses with bits of metal strands used as ear pieces. For me, these were the best part.


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

This exhibit runs through May 9th.

34 comments:

azirca said...

The mounting and hand drawn elements that accompany his images sound fascinating, actually the whole exhibition sounds amazing.
His rudimentary cameras are very intriguing. Your description of the tanks of items sound like several drawers or cupboards in my studio!

Brian K said...

I am coming to NY in April for a couple of days! I hope I get to see it! Thanks for the amzing post.

Studio6or7 said...

Wow! Look at those cameras! Thanks for sharing- would love to make it to NYC to see this- maybe a quick side trip from my trip to Philly in a couple weeks.

Don said...

How facinating. The photos and those cameras are amazing. Talk about an outsider.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

His story is fascinating - his cameras make me think of found objects, and his persistence in creating his art is awe inspiring. Thanks Seth.

Lisa said...

I remember this from your earlier post...utterly fascinating. What a shame that cameras are prohibited at the exhibition! I'll be in NYC in a couple of weeks so hoping to catch this show.

Kim said...

What an amazing exhibit. It's moments like this that leave me wishing I lived closer to the big smoke if only to catch fascinating exhibitions like this one. These assemblage pieces look incredible. I am wondering what is more fascinating though? The history of photography revealed by the detritus in the tanks or the prospect of how those items could be creatively utilised in other assemblage pieces! I love the pic of the woman that has been distressed and the idea of the imperfect images and their presentation is intriguing. Great post!

lynne h said...

oh my, i would've loved to have seen this... thanks for this peek, seth. he's incredibly inspiring. (and yeah, as don said, talk about an outsider)

Jo Archer said...

Ooh you lucky thing, I love Tichy. I recently bought a book of his photographs and it started a great debate in our house. We were discussing the ethics of taking photographs of people without their knowledge, as he did.

Mind you photography can be a very voyeuristic medium, but how far do you go before you're being too intrusive? Very interesting.

Bill Evertson said...

Thanks for the update Seth - I'll put this on my must see list for my next visit.

Found art blog said...

Oh my!! Gives a whole new meaning to the term "Found Art", eh?! If only I lived closer...!

ooglebloops said...

I can't believe how he created cameras, and from that art photos!!! Fascinating!!!

Jeb said...

Okay, this is really cool! Thanks for sharing.

Bea said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I won't be getting to New York to see this and I really, REALLY, appreciate you taking the time to share it with us. :)Bea

Jill Z said...

I can't imagine making a camera that could actually work. Love the movement of the photos,and the capture of a moment in time. Just shows you what inventiveness, creativity, determination and talent can turn into. Thanks for this glimpse into Tichy's work,and of the exhibit!

MrCachet said...

I've seen his art previously, perhaps through your original post. I tried the pinhole camera as a young kid, and found the whole process gave me a different perspective on my viewing world. It was like finding a 'third eye'.

oneartistjournal said...

These cameras are so captivating, I wish i could see them for myself, may be I'll join brian, haha. I remember commenting on the other post, I was so intruiged then and I am now too.
You're so lucky..
XOXOrly

grrl + dog said...

wow,

look at his cameras.

he was literally capturing light,

makes me feel embarrassed for my

ritzy one..

rebeca trevino said...

SETH this was amazing! thank you for sharing this with us. I wish I cold see it live.
rebeca

ArtSnark said...

read about him in the Times a while back. Fascinating work & history

femminismo said...

This is ironic. No photos of photography exhibit. ha! They look like terrific works though, and to imagine they actually work! Ha! again. My verification word is "dendoop." This is a special room in a house where a darkroom is maintained.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Small in scope, maybe. Covered by you with immaculate and precise detail, yes. Your words and images brought this post and the exhibit to life for me. Thank you.

Art said...

What poignant shots he was able to take, with such haphazard means. That is a really special body of work--I wish I could see it!

And yes, no photography of photography is more than a little ironic :)

ArtPropelled said...

I have no idea how Tichy could make a camera from found objects. Mind boggling!

Leslie said...

Wow. How fascinating. I remember now that you posted about this exhibit. I'm going to have to get up there before it goes. Thanks for the reminder and the pictures.

SKIZO said...

It´s awesome.

Alex said...

This is SO COOL!!!!! I really love DYI tools like that. =) Thanks for sharing

layers said...

hello. I have been away teaching and am slowly getting back to some of my favorite blogs. I remember your earlier post on this handmade camera guy and love his cameras first of all.
I apparently love anything old, worn, torn.. wish I could see this exhibit in person but since I can't thank you for the images and words.

Chris said...

I never heard of him until I borrowed the book Create and Be Recognized, and I was fascinated then. Your added information/imagery makes me wish I could get out there!

raena said...

Well, I am not in New York so I thank you for this fascinating post!

Terresa said...

Oh, this sounds divine. Great post, thank you for sharing!!

Monica said...

I'm totally gobsmacked that he made his cameras from found objects. What a guy!

I would LOVE to see his exhibition. Hopefully it comes to lower Eastern Europe!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

"collecting small moments"
WOW
fabulous post
tfs Seth!
oxo

alteredbits said...

ooh, i wish i were closer as i would have LOVED to have visited this exhibit. it sounds phenominal and i love the idea of awkwardly framed images and his cameras, i can imagine, were amazing. i LOVE his site too -- was just checking it out (thank you!). and the photo of the man looks like my pop. i thought that when i read your last post. :)