Critique of kitsch

Been thinking about kitsch. When beauty is captured in a beautiful way. It often. Too often ends up as a kitsch. The more beauty the better. The more perfection the better. The sweeter the better. It is also about a taste of people. Of course. Kitsch is likely to be admired by many. But very often remains vacuous. Empty.

Below photos from one Sunday afternoon in Kojetin city. In November.

Kojetin, 2017

© Pavel P.

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Report from Kojetin city

One lazy Saturday from a little town in Hana region. Not much is going on there. Thought this town is rich for it’s variety of interesting characters. For example this man pushing a wheel barrow loaded with wood. Thick eye glasses. I wasn’t sure if he sees me. He barely walked with the load. Made stops every fifteen meters for the rest. So he gave me plenty of time to photograph him.   I followed him up to the place where he lives. He parked his carriage and moved wood inside.

 

Kojetn, 2017

© Pavel P.

Fragments from my winter

I am expecting a delivery of a new camera today. Yes, it is still secret. Not telling you yet. Meanwhile I want to clean out my archives and put the photos public. I have to post more in one post as they would wait forever if I posted just one photo a day.

This past weekend, some spring activities like cleaning my car and riding bike with my kids. And we were in ZOO, which was crowded, but it was ok.

Side street leading to the town square.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Cool gypsy boys.

Czech Republic
Ostrava, December 2016
In front of the store.
Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Mini store where lots of people go.

Czech Republic
Ostrava, December 2016

On the outskirts of the city.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Bag on wheels.

Czech Republic
Frydek-Mistek, December 2016

The sign on the wall is unfinished. First word says “Gypsies”. The letter R is obviously unfinished word. I think someone wanted to write “raus”. So all together it is a racist call. Author was probably interrupted during the act and had run away. Oh, I forgot to mention, that this house, and other houses in this location, is inhabited by Roma community.  Hate. And intolerance…Couple of days before New Year’s eve. Sad.

Czech Republic
Prerov, December 2016

This is an iron scupture from 1981. Official name is “New Age”, but people call this sculpture “Kicked out”.

Last day of 2016.

Czech Republic
Frydek-Mistek, December 2016

 

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Quiet town.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Story about trousers on the wall.

Czech Republic
Ostrava, December 2016

On the outskirts of Kojetin. Gloomy snow-less winter.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

Near city center.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

In fnont of the supermarket – the center of all activity in the city of Kojetin.

Czech Republic
Kojetin, December 2016

P.

What do I shoot?

So, in my last post I turned around and asked myself how was my photography year. In today’s post I will turn around again to view my photos of this year that is coming to its end.

I made lots of photos. I was photographing with not so clear intent. Therefore my public photos has been of various themes. And therefore it was easy to get distracted my path. I didn’t have a road map. So I organized my photos, selected favorites of 2016 and thought about them. I realized that there are themes and places where I was shooting more often. And that there are photos that I feel stronger connection with.

Most of the time, when I was making decision “where I am going to shoot today?” I was drawn  by some invisible  “magnetic” force to the periphery areas. To the districts with poor people, mostly gypsies, living in ruined houses, areas with social problems. But I wasn’t looking for the poorness, decay and sadness. This wasn’t my subject. I have been looking for traces of people and life in these areas. It is almost “culture within the culture” with different pace, with different rules, attitude and values. And somehow I feel people’s liberty side by side with poorness. It is an old word, that has not disappeared yet.  I am fascinated by all of this, and that’s why I want to capture it while places like this still exists.

I often end up wandering in those areas that people call ghettos. They are not necessarily at the border of the city, they are often part of the city centers. In Ostrava I know couple of such places and  I keep coming back there. Just like today and yesterday.

These streets are always very alive. No matter how cold or hot it is, there are always people around, walking here and there. Especially kids. I already know faces of some of the kids I see there. These kids are always excited to see a man photographing around. Up to five or seven years of their age, they would ask me to make a photo of them. That would make them very happy. They would dance or do funny faces. They even run to me along the whole street and ask me to make a photo of them. They don’t seem to be shy. Sometimes they don’t even ask to check LCD to see the photo. They are happy to be on the photo and that’s all. Also, I am a strange intruder that comes to their territory, so they are very curious. Well, adults not so much as they don’t show interest to see me around.

So the first series, or theme, that I am aware of is “people/life in the periphery”. Not necessarily gypsies, but people at the edge of the society in general (homeless, junkies, beggars etc.).

But there is also other theme that shows up in my favorite photos, but my intent has unclear contours. I can’t name yet. This would be represented by photos from the dark underpasses, train stations, pubs. With lonely people. Blurred and grainy. Showing raw, cold and grey environment. People lost in the city, with their souls, troubles. And maybe lost in the time.

I have a path to walk on. I have themes to develop yet and explore in 2017.

documentary photography
Kojetin, October 2016
documentary photography
Baska, September 2016
documentary photography
Ostrava, October 2016
documentary photography
Ostrava, September 2016
documentary photography
Ostrava, September 2016
at home, shadows
Baska, at home, September 2016
¨street photography
Ostrava, October 2016
street photography
Ostrava, October 2016
street photography
Ostrava, October 2016

documentary photography
Celadna, October 2016

P.

Liberation

When I wrote about my process of liberation from social media noise half a year ago, I also thought I was recovered from all the liking and commenting madness. But I wasn’t back than. Not completely. I was still partly hooked on checking the statistics, likes and comments. For example I would be disappointed if someone who’s opinion is important for me would not give me a feedback on my photo.

I think I do much better now. Well, I am here. I share photos. I want the photos to be seen. But I am also realizing the worth of my photos. Their worth for myself. I am still not completely detached from all the social media. I use them, but more reasonably.

There is less buzz and talk around my photos, but I feel happier with photos I produce and share.

For example a photo of a grey sky with pigeon and top of the grain mill gives me very good feeling. I feel satisfaction. And that is very strong feeling.

documentary photography
Kojetin, September 2016
street photography
Ostrava, July 2016
street photography
Ostrava, July 2016
street photography
Frydek-Mistek, July 2016

street photography
Ostrava, July 2016

street photography
Ostrava, July 2016

street photography
Ostrava, July 2016

street photography
Frydek-Mistek, July 2016

street photography
Frydek-Mistek, July 2016

P.