Photographs by Iren Stehli.
Torst, Prague, 2007. 176 pp., 125 b&w illustrations, 6½x7".
This survey of Iren Stehli's images from 1973 to 2001 captures Czech life over an intense three decades. The artist, born in Zurich in 1953, studied photography in Prague in the mid-70s. In the late 60s, her adopted country had begun to stir under the hand of communism-and been punished for it. By the middle of her career, in 1989, the embattled communist government resigned, passing power to playwright Vaclav Havel in the Velvet Revolution. The swift changes that followed have brought what is now the Czech Republic into the European Union. Stehli's human stories of that era alternate with conceptual series, both of which share a characteristic poetry and humor. The thematically arranged chapters of Iren Stehli offer a compact overview of her oeuvre, and subtle, compelling testimony to the last decades of Czechoslovakian socialism and the transformation into a free-market democracy. Her previous book is Libuna: A Gypsy's Life in Prague.
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