This or That

Michal Kalhous, untitled
Michal Kalhous, untitled

EXHIBITION: This or That
TERM: 14 03 – 02 06 2024
OPENING: 14 03 2024 at 18:30
LOCATION: Museum of Modern Art, Salon and Cabinet
CURATOR: Štěpánka Bieleszová
TRANSLATOR: Zuzana Henešová
INSTALLATION: Vlastimil Sedláček, Filip Šindelář
COLLABORATION: Markéta Othová, Lukáš Jasanský – Martin Polák

Michal Kalhouse’s two- to three-metre-long photographs enlarged from classic analogue film dominate the exhibition of “non-photographs” THIS OR THAT, which opens on 14 March 2024 at the Olomouc Museum of Art. A cross-section of thirty years of the artist’s work presents his reflections on transience, partnerships and family, on humility and gratitude for the opportunity to live a simple everyday life.

“Under the term non-photography, we can imagine banal, non-photogenic shots, often trivial and deliberately inartistic in form, evoking even the manifestations associated with amateur photography,” explains Štěpánka Bieleszová, the curator of the exhibition. “The images do not even hide the visual defects of analogue enlargements. Kalhous does not retouch them, on the contrary, he considers them a natural part of the image.”

Michal Kalhous himself is aware that he has always been associated with imperfect photography. “When I started out, I felt that there were very rigid rules in photography. And if these canons were not fulfilled, it couldn’t be good photography,” he recalls the impulse to take the opposite path. “When I was planning my first solo show, I thought the photograph was too good because it met all the formal rules – it just didn’t work from my point of view. So I repeated the whole process from the new shot to the final recording on paper. The new ‘bad’ shot was better for me. This helped me to integrate the mistake or accident into my field of possibilities,” Kalhous explains his thinking about photography.

The curator Štěpánka Bieleszová has written a book about Michal Kalhous as part of the Olomouc Photographers series, and as a result Kalhous has decided to donate his photographs from 1995 to 2020 to the Olomouc Museum of Art. Štěpánka Bieleszová has compiled a collection of dozens of photographs that present the artist’s work. “We will also present Michal Kalhous in the contemporary and artistic context of the work of photographers who inspired and encouraged him to work as an author. Visitors can thus look forward to the work of Jiří Kovanda, Markéta Othová, Marie Kratochvílová, Josef Sudek, Jan Svoboda, Miroslav Tichý, Václav Stratil, Jiří Toman, Milena Valušková and the artist duo Lukáš Jasanský – Martin Polák,” says Štěpánka Bieleszová. “The special guest of the project is Martin Horák, who will enrich the exhibition with an authorial installation.”

Translated with (free version)