London´s Walk / exhibition set

Evaluation of the author’s work by Jan Hlavatý:

What is particularly interesting about Jiří Nováček’s photographs, which were taken during his working stay in London, is that he does not highlight in any way the places that are typical for this city and which make this densely populated urban complex attractive to the world.

During the time when the author was employed at the well-known museum of applied and fine arts, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and when he had the opportunity to observe not the exclusivity of the environment, but normal, ordinary and mundane life, he took documentary pictures in which he observed fleeting moments as if by suddenly stopping time, having a far greater meaning for people living in the city than what immediately comes to mind when a stranger imagines a typical environment.

I can judge this from the knowledge of several European cities, to which the British capital does not exactly belong, but which I have heard from friends and acquaintances who live there permanently or have lived there, that they still suffer from their imperial past and their importance to the rest of the world. I appreciate the fact that the author did not emphasize these aspects of London life. On the contrary, as can be seen from the photographs on display, he concentrated on capturing the feeling of individuals moving in a familiar space, surrounded by what is close to them, regardless of the fact that they live their lives in one of the most famous cities on our planet. the planet. This makes the documented environment cosmopolitan and all-encompassing.

Just as some fleeting experience from the lived past remains in our consciousness, which apparently has more significance for our inner feeling than the superficially practical, seemingly more important points of the lived reality, so does the photo documentation of the London present with its intimacy and concentration on the details of the events “under surface” has the meaning of sincere authenticity.

I would divide the exhibited photos into two groups, according to artistic expression. One part of the works focuses on reportage-styled shots, captured with the alertness of the unique and unrepeatable, when the moment decides the power of visual expression.

The second group is a stylization of the play of light and shadow, a contrast based on the action of silhouettes of human figures and objects and nature. Here, the preparation of the shot and image composition is longer, visual aesthetics is applied with a dominant effect.

All the photos are black and white, which gives the impression of memories that lose their colors over time and what remains is a simple statement emerging from the experiences gained.