Benedictines – Gradus Ad Deum / exhibition set

Evaluation of the author’s work by Jan Hlavatý:

The cycle “Gradus Ad Deum” mainly captures the spiritual side of the daily life of Benedictine monks in their monastery complex in Rajhrad. The photographs depicting the then inhabitants of the monastery, the brothers of the order – Brother Justin, Brother Vojtěch, Brother Heřman, Prior Augustin, Brother Josef Maria and Brother Naum are divided into three units – ordinary spiritual life in the monastery, shots of Brother Justin’s eternal vow and views from former prelature of the monastery.

In a place imbued with an extraordinary atmosphere, it was necessary to rediscover the once-lost sense of the fulfillment of religious life, which is evident from the author’s photographs, which have both documentary and artistic value. The most impressive of them are the pictures from the interior of the former monastic prelature. Their special atmosphere is imbued with nostalgia for the lost and rediscovered sense of the fulfillment of religious life.

The ordinary life of the brothers of the order is documented with reportage views of the daily activities of the members of the order, residents of the large monastery complex. The author got to know all the named people well during his stay at the place and characterized them with his photographs.

The monastic stay of the order’s brothers is thus documented not only in the sense of the Latin saying “ora et labora”, which is defining for the Benedictines, but also by the fun and sense of humor of people living the life of today.

„Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father’s advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.“ Benedict of Nursia