STEIN ŠTĚPÁNKA A SALIM ISSA
THE CZECH NATIONAL AWAKENING
4. 4.—10. 5. 2012

Researching stereotypes conditioned by history is carried out in probably all fields today. With increasing obviousness global processes are wiping away ethnic boundaries that have been in place for centuries, and are transforming former conceptions of national identities. Multiculturalism has contributed to the contemporary ethos of culture mainly by focusing on the dynamic of relations, criticism of their asymmetry, and unmasking monocultural tendencies. National Awakening, a new set of portrait photographs by Salim Issa and Štěpánka Stein follow on from their previous projects on ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic, particularly the Vietnamese. With a title that is politically and nationally loaded, this set of works, with a certain irony, revives the perspective of traditional nineteenth-century academic representation. By paraphrasing iconic figures of the mythology of the Czech National Awakening, the artists point to a changing context, offering for reflection nationalist formulae and demarcating the force fields between the period of the struggle for national identity and the continual need for redefinition in a continuously changing world.

Mariana Serranová

Gallery (8)

Fotogalerie z vernisáže (5)

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CV — Stein Štěpánka a Salim Issa

Living and working in the Czech Republic, this artist-couple concentrate on subjective documentary photography and fashion photography and also on photographing the works of Czech designers and architects. In the past they made various conceptual series (Beauty Fashion, Mimolimit, Space Cowboys), and in 2005 they completed a project funded by a grant from the City of Prague on the topic of the Prague district of Karlín. Their works were chosen by the renowned German publisher Taschen for a book called Best Portfolios (2005).

In 2006 they published their first book, The National Theatre/Národní divadlo, a series of portraits capturing the atmosphere of the foremost Czech theatre. In 2007, they carried out a project for UniCredit Bank, to present at the Venice Biennale. Since 2008 they have been made magazine covers for Hospodařské noviny, a leading Czech business newspaper.

ŠTĚPÁNKA STEIN
Was born in Prague, in 1976.
Lives and works in Prague.

1990–94 studied photography at Prague School of Graphic Arts (SPŠG)
1995–2001 studied photography in the studio of Pavel Štecha at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (VŠUP)
Since 2001 has worked as a freelance photographer
2001 began a postgraduate course in sociology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University

SALIM ISSA
Was born in Prague, in 1974.
Lives and works in Prague.

1989–93 studied at the Hollar Art School
1995–2001 studied photography in the studio of Pavel Štecha at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (VŠUP)
Since 2001 has worked as a freelance photographer

Solo exhibitions
2011 Paris Photo, Czech Centre, Paris
2008 ‘Little Hanoi’, Mánes Exhibition Hall, Prague
2006 ‘Czechmania’, the Slovak Photography Centre (Slovenský dom fotografie), Košice
2006 ‘The National Theatre’, Czech Centre, Berlin
2006 ‘The National Theatre’, Salon Kolowrat, Prague
2005 ‘Czechmania’, Prague House of Photography, Prague
2004 ‘Presentation of a Project Funded by a City of Prague Grant’, Josef Sudek Gallery, Prague
2002 ‘Czech Artists in Stuttgart – Space Cowboys’, Stuttgart

Group exhibitions
2008  Lyon Photography Festival
2006  Prague Biennale
2006 ‘Changing faces’, Museum Folkwang, Essen
2005 ‘Voyeur’, AAAD Gallery, Prague
2005 ‘Czech Photography of the 20th Century’, City Gallery Prague
2004 ‘The Jaromír Funke Prize, 2004’, Prague House of Photography, Prague
2004 ‘Czechmania’, Czech Centre, London
2004 ‘Messages’, Symphony Hall, Birmingham (Design Festival)
2003 ‘Portraits of Czech Artists’, ArtPrague, Mánes Exhibition Hall, Prague
2002 ‘Space Cowboys’, Bílek Gallery, Prague
2001 ‘Young Czech Artists’, Gallery of Modern Art, Budapest
2000 ‘17 up’, Mánes Exhibition Hall, Prague

Prizes, Grants, and Fellowships
2009 Czech Design Award, Photographer of the Year, 2009
2006 Czech Design Award, Photographer of the Year, 2006
2006 Czech Press Photo, 2nd Prize in the portrait category
2005 IPRN, ‘Changing Faces’, photography fellowship, Great Britain
2004 Nomination for the Jaromír Funke Prize
2003 Czech Press Photo, grant from the City of Prague, 1st Prize in the portrait category
2002 Czech Press Photo, 3rd Prize in the portrait category and 3rd Prize in the art category
2001 Czech Press Photo, 2nd Prize in the art category
2000 Czech Press Photo, 3rd Prize in the art category

CONTACT USJosef Sudek Studio
(Ateliér Josefa Sudka)
Újezd 30
Prague 1, 110 00
Czech Republic
info@atelierjosefasudka.cz

Open daily except
Monday 12 AM - 6 PM

Admission 10 CZK
free for students of art schools

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