Photographs by Josef Koudelka. Text Will Guy.
Aperture, 2011. 224 pp., 8 gatefolds, 109 quadratone illustrations, 10x13".
Aperture's new edition of Koudelka: Gypsies rekindles the energy and astonishment of this foundational body of work by master photographer Josef Koudelka. Lavishly printed in a unique quadratone mix by artisanal printer Gerhard Steidl, it offers an expanded look at Cikáni (Czech for “gypsies” )-109 photographs of Roma society taken between 1962 and 1971 in then-Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France and Spain. The design and edit for this volume revisits the artist's original intention for the work, and is based on a maquette originally prepared in 1968 by Koudelka and graphic designer Milan Kopriva. Koudelka intended to publish the work in Prague, but was forced to flee Czechoslovakia, landing eventually in Paris. In 1975, Robert Delpire, Aperture and Koudelka collaborated to publish Gitans, la fin du voyage (Gypsies, in the English-language edition), a selection of 60 photographs taken in various Roma settlements around East Slovakia. Gypsies includes more than 30 never-before-published images and a new text by Roma scholar and sociologist Will Guy, who also wrote the essay for the 1975 edition. Guy contributes a new, in-depth analysis of the condition of the Roma today, including the most recent upheavals in France and Europe.