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The 1st year of Funkeho Kolín festival of photography

The 1st year of Funkeho Kolín festival of photography

Group M at the first festival of Funke Kolin

 The first year of a festival in memory of Jaromír Funke and Josef Sudek called Funkeho Kolín was organized by Cultural Foundation of Polabí in October 1993. The first year was mainly aimed at experimental creation. Concept and organization: Jolana Havelková, Miloš Kim Houdek.

Authors exhibiting in the manor brewery experimental area: Michal Macků, Pavel Mára, Zdeněk Lhoták, Roman Kubík, Aleš Kuneš, Jolana Havelková, Lada Křesadlová, Lucie Škvorová, Kateřina Vladárová, Jerzy Oleg, Josef Moucha, Jaroslav Fišer, M Group from Olomouc (M. Valušková, J. Sobotka, M. Kalhous and others), Libuše Jarcovjáková, Petr Velkoborský, Jiří Křenek, Roman Sejkot, Zdeněk Skružný, Martin Smékal.

The genius loci of this place comprises not only urban and artistically impressive formation of buildings, but also space charged with the vibrations of historic and contemporary civilization. Within it resonate people who are its prerequisite – without them, the magic fails. The gifted natives of Kolín strive to make their town more special and to label it with yet another title. However, that by itself is insufficient. Acceptance is needed.

The photographer Jaromír Funke, who was born in Skuteč and grew up in Kolín, managed to get maximum out of Kolín's sacral, secular and civic architecture. In his works, nowadays renowned all over the world, we will not find a single object outside the closest field of his interest or place of activity.

In the 1920s he photographed the town of Kolín and its vicinity, in the 30s he closely watched the construction of the architect Jaroslav Fragner's power plant, near the end of the 40s he crowned his life's work by a monumental cycle of photographs from the St. Bartholomeus' cathedral. In his life and work he completed a circle to return to the place whence he came from. He experienced Kolín as a place to work, live and meditate. During the last years of his life, he ceased emphasizing the formal originality of his compositions but instead devoted himself to the service to his town and its important sacral heritage. Like a compass needle, Funke's creation oscillated between two different points, just as his personal development did: on the one hand, the power plant, a functionalist building which he depicted with great avant-garde; on the other hand, St. Bartholomeus's cathedral, a classic Gothic sight. On his journey from one pole to the other, Funke depicted civic buildings of various eras with the will to both experiment and convey a common vision.

Among the trinity of famous photographers from Kolín, only Funke remained loyal to his town for a life-time. Josef Sudek took to Prague over time. Eugen Wiškovský, though not born there, devoted one entire stage of his life (during his stay there as a professor) to photographing Kolín's architecture with his friend Funke...

For photography it was important that the town of Kolín appealed to several figures (whether they were native or came from elsewhere). In order to make this possible, its very atmosphere must have put up to inspiring them, to be open to the new. Genius loci does not last forever by itself, it needs to be kept alive.

Anna Fárová, art historian