Friday, April 14, 2006

Antonin Kratochvil

This was one funny presentation. While Antonin is extremely proficient at image making his technical presentation skills are a little less. Enter Gary Knight.

Gary provided technical assistance to the process and you can see it here in these images. While writing, I can sometimes get the spirit of the moment across but I’m not sure that will be the case here. Suffice it to say, I laughed out loud, along with the rest of the audience and enjoyed the time immensely.

Antonin presented images from his recent trips to Chernobyl to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the disaster. He had been there 10 years previously to document it as well. The premise behind this story was the ability of nature to thrive versus the affects the disaster has had on the human population.

He spoke about the radiation and the need to carry a dosimeter. I could relate to some extent with my time in the Nay and having a dosimeter assigned to me. But that’s another story. As he was explaining the need for the dosimeter and the radiation in the different zones, he told a story relating to the theme of the project. As the dosimeter would chirp indicating detected radiation he would hear matching sounds coming from the birds in the trees. He is as capable at telling a verbal story as he is telling stories with his images.

As with many of the VII photographers, I’ve been a long time admirer of Antonin’s work. Seeing his work on screen, along with the narrative about the images, was a wonderful way to experience the images. They were wonderfully composed, a common trait throughout the weekend, and just resonated with me personally.

He still shoots film and considers himself a black and white photographer. He did mention that he shot digital during the war in Iraq but that he doesn’t own digital. I didn’t get the feeling he would change anytime soon and I hope he doesn’t.

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