jakub sobotka




21. 6. - 15. 12. 2017 
PERFORMERS & STILL LAND, Gallery Continental Barum, Otrokovice

Continental Calendar, the title pages of Drive-in! magazine or BestDrive services throughout the country. Photos by Jakub Sobotka have appeared in all of those places and you probably know them without even realizing it. Sobotka, who shot a number of things for Continental Barum, is now exhibiting his personal artwork. You have the chance to see his two photographic cycles in the Continental Barum Gallery until December 15th. While the collection entitled STILL LAND captures architecture and landscapes transformed by man, the PERFORMERS series consists of portraits of contemporary world dancers.

STILL LAND depicts urban landscape – a world transformed by man. What is the main idea of the collection? 

I try to capture the space in which today's people live and work. I'm attracted by distinctive places that have a charge or an opposite. I concentrate on places with atmosphere and stories where someone imprinted a piece of his soul.

Are these pictures more about the landscape or about people?

It is important that the pictures tell us something 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. Humans are creative beings. I try to capture what they do in public space, how they adjust to the places where they live, work and spend time. Natural elements return things to their original state, they break it down, there is a decline of artificial constructions. This is another dimension that interests me and is present in the cycle.

The second cycle is quite the opposite – 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 photos of the landscape, but I also work with the coloring and interfere with it.

What was your motivation to shoot the PERFORMERS cycle?

I have been participating for ten years at the international festival TANECVALMEZ, which took place in Zlín this year. 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 normal training clothes, no make-up, no props. I give them space to move freely and I want them to show what they really are like.

Why did you choose to exhibit in the Continental Barum Gallery?

I have been cooperating with the company for more than 15 years preparing many of their graphic outputs, because I work at Motýl Media, which is nowadays the main Continental and BestDrive agency. I know a lot of people there, some of whom I have portrayed. I also shot their calendar in 2013, so I went through the whole production process and photographed the individual professions at their workplaces.

Bára Sobotková, Student of Journalism, FSS MU Brno