ALAN HYŽA: SPIŠ ‒ SHADOWS AND ECHOES
The exhibition of the reputable Slovak photographer, known as an exceptional documentarist, is focused on the landscape and man – silencing and searching for references to the past brings a new dimension to his work: we get to the "core" of Spiš. Anonymous people symbolize the contemporary community of the region, from which the author himself comes, the selected portraits are linked to universal human stories. The landscape is a meditative reflection of unseen traces of the past – selected localities are historical places with spiritual value, bearing traces of centuries and their hidden stories. The limited number of photographs has the character of vintages, working with the classic format of a wooden camera (8x10 inches) also determines the traditional size of the final black and white images. Hyža brings a new dimension of document to his work in combination with artistic vision and a timeless content message. Project from public sources in the form of a scholarship supported by Slovak Arts Council.
The photographic cycle was created for four years during regular trips to Spiš, where the author searched for a suitable environments and people in order to create an imaginary walk through the Spiš landscape and reveal messages of inconspicuous hidden places: “My goal was not to show notoriously known places and monuments. I wanted to capture the spiritual – the genius loci of the country, the unspoken mystery, the hidden message of the past. Each person and each place I included in the book has its own story. Although photography cannot narrate it, but it can draw attention to its existence, evoke the impression of touch and the desire to know more from it.” (Alan Hyža, 2020)
About the author
Alan Hyža (1964) lives in Bratislava. In the yr. 1990 he started working as a photo reporter for various dailies and magazines. He is currently freelance and working on several long cycles. He is the holder of several domestic and foreign awards (10-time holder of the Czech Press Photo award, E. E. Kisch award) and the author of 10 picture publications. In r. In 2009 he was awarded the title of Photographer of the Year by the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava. In 2018, his book Memoria - Disappearing Slovakia was awarded the title of the Most Beautiful Book of the Year and won the Award of Excellence in the International CreativeMediaAward competition. His latest book Spiš - Shadows and Echoes was included among the three most beautiful books in the category of Contemporary Photography within the competition of photographic books of the 30th year of the Month of Photography.
Exhibition curator: Mgr. Lucia Benická - GSA
Production cooperation: Mgr. Mária Šabľová - GSA
Graphics: Mgr. art. Ivana Babejová, ArtD. - GSA
Author Alan Hyža about the exhibition: