The World Through Antonin Kratochvil’s Eyes

By Natalie Kejhova at the exhibition of Antonín Kratochvíl's works

Kratochvil’s Photo Essays can be viewed in the magnificent exhibition of his display of works, which is open to the public till the 18th of October. The exhibition is located in Old Town Square. Visitors of the exhibition are brought into his world through framed black and white images and grey walls. The exhibition is divided into four distinct sections: “Man and Nature”,  “Man and conflict”, “War” and “Man and vision”.

“Man and Nature” highlights the relationship between human beings and their natural environment. The stunning photograph of an iceberg from Iceland puts a spotlight on the fragility of these natural phenomena. The framed image is of a soaring bird whose white wingspan is the centerpiece of this stunning shot. The bird soaring over uninhabited mountains from The Galapagos Islands.  This shot in particular shows a glimpse of the natural environment, which is protected and untouched by mankind. The 2002 image named “Mountaineer Tomas Humar” captures a glimpse of a young face through a glacier. Here, Kratochvil sends the message of how mankind is in a constant battle with their natural environment. 

By: Natalie Kejhova at the exhibition of Kratochvíl’s works
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Moreover, the second section of the exhibition “Man and conflict” communicates with the visitors through captivating shots by highlighting social, political, and natural conflicts between individuals and their external environment. The 1995 image from Romania showcases a portrait of a blurred man with litter in the background. The man’s face being out of focus highlights how his external environment is disrupted. Here through the image Kratochvil symbolizes the conflict between mankind and their social environment.

By: Natalie Kejhova at the exhibition of Kratochvíl’s works

Furthermore, the third section “War” puts a bright spotlight on how war is capable of devastating the social and political environment in the framed photographs from different corners of the world. They range from various Arab countries and those from the African continent, such as Congo. The striking shot from 1994 of a malnourished man’s back from Rwanda/Zair highlights how famine may be one of the consequential results of war in these regions. 

By: Natalie Kejhova at the exhibition of Kratochvíl’s works

Kratochvil designed the exhibition in a way that makes digesting the powerful photographs possible. After viewing striking images from various war zones located on the African continent, the visitor is calmed down by viewing a positive CNN video. The video showcases a woman whom Kratochvil helped. This inspirational story shines a bright light on the striking shots that he took in her country located in the African continent.  

The fourth section “Man and Vision” features various famous celebrities that Kratochvil photographed in his unique style using light and shadow. The shot of Bob Dylan showcase the element of worry and sadness which is expressed on his face. The 1996 shot of Bernardo Bertlolucci is photographed through a reflective window. Bertlolocci’s face is camouflaged in the interesting composition. In a nutshell Kratochvil developed the exhibition in a way that guided visitors through his frozen memories from his travels across the years and across the continents.

By: Natalie Kejhova at the exhibition of Kratochvíl’s works