March 22 Panel Discussion Features International Artists
In conjunction with the current exhibition, "Reconnecting Through Photography: Czech Republic – Slovak Republic," the UHCL Art Gallery invites you to a free panel discussion and reception on Thursday, March 22, 6-8 p.m., in the Bayou Building’s Forest Room. The event features: Vojtěch Aubrecht, exhibiting artist and professor of photography at the Institute of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia; Zachary Doleshal, a doctoral candidate specializing in Czech history at The University of Texas at Austin; Bohunka Koklesová, professor of art theory at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design; and Matthew Linton, associate professor of art and design at UHCL. It will be moderated by Clint Willour, exhibition organizer and curator of the Galveston Arts Center.
In this exclusive feature for eConnections, the Art Gallery's Audience Development Coordinator Jeff Bowen sat down with several of the participants to talk about the event.
Jeff Bowen: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me about the panel discussion on March 22. But before we begin, let's take a minute to talk about the exhibition. What interests each of you about "Reconnecting Through Photography: Czech Republic – Slovak Republic" at UHCL?
Clint Willour: The most interesting thing to me is that this is the first time since the split of Czechoslovakia that works from the two separate nations have been exhibited together. It's also fascinating to compare the new work of the two nations to works created before the breakup of Czechoslovakia and even older photographs taken during communist rule.
Zachary Doleshal: For me, that students from the Slovak and Czech Republics have the opportunity to present their work together, in Houston, is further evidence of globalization. "Reconnecting Through Photography" suggests a deep cultural connection between the two countries, and a growing interest on the part of Texans in the cultural affairs of an often misunderstood part of the world.
Bohunka Koklesová: In my opinion, this exhibition was prepared for a foreign public. Even though our countries split, many Czechs and Slovakians might not see the exhibition as "reconnecting" because our cultural relationships didn't split when Czechoslovakia broke up in 1993. While it was a depressing time for many, retaining cultural connections was very important in revitalizing our attitudes. I like how the exhibition features both students' and teachers' works. Not only does the exhibition capture a wonderful pedagogical moment, but the works also delve into the open and free space of human existence.
Vojtěch Aubrecht: To add to what Bohunka said, as a participant in the exhibition, I am thrilled to not only represent my own work, but also the work of my students within the university – and perhaps even to represent an entire nation.
JB: What are you looking forward to most about the March 22 panel? Why should people come to the event?
CW: The panel is a nice mix of diverse voices. I'm looking forward to moderating and hope we discover something new about the art but at the same time entertain along the way.
ZD: Art comes from a place, a context. Yet rarely do we have the opportunity to contextualize works of an exhibition with the insight of a panel of experts. What better way to ground one's appreciation of these provoking images than with a learned discussion of who made them and where they come from?
BK: Personally, I look forward to meeting and discussing with other colleagues about the students' works and about the general state of contemporary photography in Central Europe. I also look forward to the exchange of new information and having a discussion about the cultural relationship of two small nations.
VA: I am excited to present an artist's perspective during the panel. As I am most familiar with the works selected from the University of West Bohemia, I am up for the challenge of helping the audience understand the Czech photographs.
JB: What are your research interests? How have they prepared you for the panel discussion on March 22?
CW: I have been the curator at Galveston Arts Center for 22 years. Before that, I ran a commercial gallery for 17 years. During this 40-year time span, I have also been independently curating and jurying internationally. Outside of my artist role at Galveston Arts Center, my interest is in photography. I have participated in portfolio reviews throughout the world, and I’m even curating seven FotoFest 2012 exhibitions.
BK: My research is focused in two ways. First, I study propaganda in official photographs of totalitarian systems, specifically photos of the Slovak State during its collaboration with Nazi Germany (I wrote a book in 2009 titled Under the Shadow of the Third Reich) and photos of the communist regime. My second area of research is contemporary photography. I curate several exhibitions each year, and I enjoy interpreting contemporary photographs using sociology texts, including the topics of "instability" or "uncertainty" described by sociologists Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens.
"Reconnecting Through Photography: Czech Republic – Slovak Republic" is on view through April 6 in the foyer across from the entrance to the Alfred R. Neumann Library. To RSVP for the panel discussion, contact the Art Gallery by calling 281-283-3311 or emailing email@example.com.
Back to top