The project that comes to fruition under the expert curatorial guidance by Kateřina Svatoňová is a collaborative effort together with the exhibition architect Zbyněk Baladrán, the MasterFilm production company and the National Film Archive. It is centred around the cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, who is indisputably one of the most respected creative forces in the Czech cinema of the second half of the twentieth century. He is known as a progressive cameraman who imprinted his personality on the visual form of a number of classic Czech films (Diamonds of the Night, Daisies, Fruit of Paradise, All my Compatriots and Dinner for Adele among others) and performances at the Magic Lantern theatre (e.g. Odysseus), and as a director of the Prague Castle documentary – but his creative endeavours cover a much broader area. Jaroslav Kučera’s key characteristics were expressing himself through images, his work with colours, shadows, light and composition (often modelled on old masters of fine art; his inspiration by Hieronymus Bosch in conceiving the visual concept of the film Fruit of Paradise is well-known). The aim of the exhibition is to present the profession of the cameraman as a creative and artistic undertaking, to show the specific techniques of Jaroslav Kučera, and particularly to allow viewers a peek into the artist’s archive, which fulfilled a very particular function. Kučera had been building his archive of photographs throughout his life, whereby it was not important to him whether the resulting photograph was a real artefact, he was more concerned with capturing a certain view, archiving “reality”, albeit not in its historical dimension, but rather in its atmosphere, light conditions, spatial proportions, colour shades and contrasts.
The exhibition is held under the auspices of Mr Petr Vokřál, Mayor of the City of Brno