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Gisèle Freund and Timm Rautert: Havel, Kundera and Sudek through the Photographers’ Eyes in 1967

Prague City Gallery – House of Photography (Galerie hlavního města Prahy – Dům fotografie), Revoluční 5, Praha 1 - Nové Město, 110 00

  • Exhibition
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  • Tue 6. 11. 2018 – Sun 3. 2. 2019

In 1967, the German-French photographer Gisèle Freund visited Prague during the 4th congress of the Czechoslovak Union of Writers, which became legendary, held from 27 to 29 June. At this congress, Václav Havel, Milan Kundera, Pavel Kohout and the director Miloš Forman stood up in the defense of Věra Chytilová’s film Daisies, giving speeches that are considered to be the initial impulse of the “Prague Spring”. During her stay, Freund met with the writers and also photographed them. This gave rise to many portraits of the writers Václav Havel and Milan Kundera, the philosopher Karel Kosík and also the translators Jan Vladislav and Adolf Kroupa. Freund also visited the photographer Josef Sudek, whom she also portrayed. This free-form series of 51 portraits has never been exhibited or published before, so viewers can see it for the first time in Prague. At almost the same time in 1967, the German photographer Timm Rautert visited Prague and created a series of portraits of Josef Sudek, whom he admired, in Sudek’s studio at Úvoz in Prague. He shot over 40 photographs accompanied by several views of Prague. Although these photos were already exhibited in two major foreign institutions, and were published in Germany in a monograph, this series of photographs will have its premiere in the Czech Republic.

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