Miroslav Tichý @ the International Center for Photography NYC [jan 9th 2010 - may 9th 2010]
Exhibition review written by me for art history class
IT IS EASY TO PASS JUDGEMENT on Miroslav Tichý, the eccentric 84 year-old Czech photographer, especially after seeing a picture of him now or what he looked like 30 years ago. Tichý appears to live his life by two principles. The first is that you can grow or build anything essential that is needed to live. The second is that a life navigated and perpetuated by chance is not meant for the control freaks. In a way, this plays as a strange parallel to his persona and his art displayed at his current exhibition at the International Center of Photography. The viewer cannot simply just judge Tichý or his works of art, but is pushed to understand them within the context of his personal and artistic values; the viewer is forced to appreciate them for what they concretely are without trying to lose them in the abstract kaleidoscope of conceptual thought. Tichý himself admitted that he did not think about anything when he took pictures- he said it was "just like playing cards". In this respect among many others, Tichý's photography is both revolutionary and anachronistic in that it denied the technological advances of photography of its time, its content refused involvement with or avoided direct reaction to any kind of influence outside his own little world, and it defied the artistic standards of the time. Instead, he took the do-it-yourself approach that enhanced an already private relationship with his photographs and embraced the scientific capabilities reminiscent of photographers during the early stages of the medium.