Jiří Thýn: Embrace of the Serpent

Extended until 10 March 2024!
On view:  20/01/2024 - 10/03/2024
Opening: 2024/01/19 (FRI) 19:00

Jiří Thýn is a leading figure of the Central and Eastern European post-conceptual photography scene. Taking a critical approach towards the genre of photography, Thýn has in recent years experimented with formal and spatial solutions that push the boundaries of the medium, gradually refining his distinctive artistic language within the fields of lyrical conceptualism and non-narrative photography. His photographs often incorporate elements typical of other genres, such as the gestural nature and immediacy of painting. Having made important steps towards abstract photography, as well as addressing the issue of 'untranslatability' between the global modernist art canon and local artistic voices, he has recently turned his attention towards dilemmas concerning the possibility or impossibility of capturing our current reality. Although he most often seeks formal solutions that detach themselves from their social contexts and direct political referents, Thýn's work cannot be disentangled from the experience and social aspects of our perception of contemporary reality. These factors are an integral part of even those of his works that are clearly focused on abstraction.

Thýn's photographs can be perceived as the artist's commentaries on our contemporary condition, or -  as curator Jiří Ptáček wrote in relation to Thýn's 2015 exhibition -  as ‘pictures that have not happened, although they exist.’ Jiří Thýn's solo exhibition at Trafó Gallery - his first solo exhibition in Hungary - also presents such pieces. The gallery space, unsettling and evoking a sublime and eerie milieu, features still lifes that resemble traps. Traps in which we can regard with the calmness and resignation of an outside observer as we destroy ourselves and everything around us, and as the unbridled serpent that emerges from the ashes, plastic rubbish and other remnants of our violent reality after the flames engulf everything.  (Borbála Szalai)

Jiří Thýn (born 1977, Prague) studied photography at UMPRUM (Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture in Prague) and painting at AVU (Academy of Fine Arts). From 2014-8 he was head of the Studio of Postconceptual Photography of FAMU (the Film Academy) in Prague and currently he is head of the Photography Studio at the University of Jan Evangelista, Department of Fine Arts, in Ústí nad Labem and teaches at Scholastika College in Prague.
Amongst others, he had solo exhibitions at FAIT Gallery, Brno (2023, 2015), at Prague City Gallery (2021), at the Brno House of Arts (2017, 2011), and at CEAAC, Strasbourg (FR) (2014). His work has been featured in group exhibitions in such institutions as Czech Center in New York (2019), BWA Warszawa (2018), Manifesta 11 in Zurich (2016); The Prague National Gallery at the Trade Fair Palace (2016); the Photographer’s Gallery in London (2016); The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2016); Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2011); MoCP – Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2010); Casino Luxembourg, forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg (2010). In Budapest he participated at group exhibitions at Q Contemporary (2022), Fuga - Budapest Architecture Centre (2021), Trafó Gallery (2014) and Kisterem (2013).

Supported by: National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Czech Centre Budapest, Káli Kövek

Box Office opening hours:
  • Main hall performance days: 5 pm - 10 pm
  • studio and club performance days: 5 pm - 8:30 pm
  • other days: 5pm - 8 pm
Trafó Gallery opening hours:
  • Performance days: 4-10pm.
  • Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 4pm-7pm.
  • Closed on Mondays.
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  • The Trafó Kortárs Művészetek Háza Nonprofit Kft. works in the maintance of Budapest Főváros Önkormányzata.

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