14th International Festival of Contemporary Dance

Civil portraits of the festival performers are on exhibition


Jakub Sobotka exhibits his two most recent photography cycles PERFORMERS and STILL LAND in Otrokovice. We invite you to visit until December 15th!

You can see the artwork of a photographer from Zašová until December 15th at the Continental Barum Gallery in Otrokovice. On one side, the STILL LAND cycle captures architecture and landscapes transformed by man, on the other hand the series PERFORMERS consists of portraits of dancers. Jakub Sobotka takes pictures of the personalities of the contemporary Czech and world dance scene within the TANECVALMEZ festival.

STILL LAND depicts urban landscape, a country transformed by man. What is the main idea?

I try to capture the space in which today's man lives and works. I'm attracted by distinctive places that have a charge or a contradiction. I concentrate on the places with the atmosphere and the story where one imprinted a piece of his soul.

Are there pictures more about the landscape or about people?

It is important that they tell us about the people who created or altered the place. I do not distinguish between capturing the work of a top architect, a local artist, or a random cluster of interesting things or buildings. Man is a creative being. I try to capture what he does in public space, how he adjusts to the place where he works and lives. Natural elements return it to its original state, it breaks down, there is a decline of the things built. This is another dimension that is present and interested in the cycle.

The second cycle is completely different - people instead of landscape, black and white photography instead of colour.

Yes, in the PERFORMERS cycle, black and white stylization is important because it enhances portrait photography and drags it out of the ordinary life into the abstract realm. Dancer profiles gain strength, beauty, atmosphere. It is an opposite to the landscape photos, but I also work with the coloring and interfere with it.

Why did you decide to shoot the PERFORMERS cycle?

I have been participating for ten years at the international festival TANECVALMEZ, which will take place for the second time in Zlín as well. I decided to make use of the meetings with professional dancers, the portraits are created during the festival. I try to create their civil portraits, so they are in their normal training clothes, no make-up, no props. I give them space to be free and I want them to show what they really are.

How is the cooperation with the dancers?

Excellent! Because they are very open people, accustomed to attention, and above all, they can perfectly control their bodies. They know how to express certain emotions and they are able to move very precisely.