Photographs by Vladimir Zidlicky.
edition GALERIE VEVAIS, 2011. 250 pp., tritone illustrations throughout, 9½x12".
A new, beautifully printed book celebrates a 37-year retrospective of his artwork. The over-sized book includes 248 pages of essays, interviews, and an abundance of photographs in groupings that are presented in chronological order. Essays and texts appear in Czech and English. This book was chosen as the ’Best Book of Contemporary Photography for Central and Eastern Europe in 2008’ by an international jury in Bratislava.
His rich and complex images often begin with nude figures (dancing, intertwined, floating, piled up like heaps, painted with light), which he then distresses with surface scratches, cross-hatching, drawing, puncturing and ripping. The images are radically transformed with these often violent and aggressive gestures that seem to encase the figures and suspend them in space. As choreographer of his creations, he expertly captures motion and frenzy in multiple exposures and time-lapsed blurring. In the darkroom, he continues to make each piece unique, with expressive toning and further manipulation. Zidlicky’s art is dream-like (some are like nightmares), erotic and surreal. He creates a unique and oddly compelling mixture of the celebration of the naked human form, and meditations on decay, destruction, and loss of personal identity. (Jim Casper, Lens culture Paris, 2008, Internet, abbr,)
In his transcendental and spiritual quest, Vladimir Židlický offers us images that invite us to look both through and beyond them, and to a certain extent through and beyond all that forms the basis, life and death in the humanist tradition. If the women in these images appear as the prominent and undisputed “eternal feminine”, they are depicted in their nakedness not for the sake of a scrutinizing gaze, but rather as part of a broader synecdoche wherein their bodies, in their most beautiful sensuality appear as a sublime manifestation of the human soul. Woman, the ultimate symbol in Židlický’s existential world, is the embodiment of birth, of movement, of emotion. In constant expansion and at the same time within the limitations of the senses, like the body itself, she is both “Mother Earth” and the Lacanian “Other”, irrevocably bound to the subconscious and its lost image. While her form engenders life, her nudity becomes the material expression of an Edenic state of being, thoroughly marked by the traces and stains of reality. Above all, woman emerges here as the bearer of an inner voice or, alternatively, of the Freudian super-ego, which urges us to succumb to physical infatuation. By her very presence, woman engenders a new perception of spatiality through and beyond herself. With the lyrical weight of her body, she flaunts “the soul” – in the words of Jean-Luc Nancy it is a sensorial capacity for “feeling” the inner self in the throbbing of the body. For the division is artificial: the soul cannot be set apart from the physical body, or more precisely, it lives as long as it spreads the meditative excitement of its omnipresence, of its so-called incurable “anxiety”. (Natasha Christia, Barcelona 2009 Židlický 2007-2009 abbr.)
About the Limited Edition
The book comes along with a signed and numbered toned silver print photograph (9,5 x 12 inch) of Vladimir Zidlicky / 4 versions with 1 of 4 prints, each in an edition of 30 copies.