Mgr. Jaroslav Bárta

* 1948

  • “I later made friends with many glassmakers and photographed their artifacts. They especially appreciated the fact that I was close to the glass and understood that these were not ordinary products. Another help was a great rapprochement with Professor [Jindřich] Brok, who taught at FAMU. It seemed to him then that I could best photograph glasses as a school exercise. This was the basis of our relationship, which we regularly solidified in the pub U Tygra. So it happened that at one table I met with Sudek or Hrabal. Brok just became a long-time friend from the same field of profession for me. I greatly appreciated his life attitudes, which were also based on experience from Terezin. We drank a lot of beers together and dealt with things related to politics and social ethics. We wondered how one could function at the time and still have a face. ”

  • “Anna Fárová spoke at the opening of my exhibition in Lomnice nad Popelkou. Joska Skalnik said that if I am not afraid, he will bring music. So it happened that Jim Devil sang there: Raven, raven, raven. King, king, king. I could see that all those present were choked. After the event we moved to a pub on the hill Tabor, not far from Lomnice. We celebrated, played and sang Devil again. After some time, however, he packed up with his friends and left. We stayed there for a while and then headed toward the city. Ivan Lutterer and I sat in the square and talked for a while. I looked at the museum building I was exhibiting in and saw that the windows were lit. At first I thought we forgot to turn it off. But Ivan warned me that people were walking in the rooms. The next day, a former elementary school music teacher came to me and said, 'They were asking about you.'"

  • “The idea came from a commercial commission by Jan Malý, in which he was to photograph folk costumes. It occurred to him that he would not do it the way it was then, that is, cheerful characters somewhere in the meadow or in front of the cottage, but on a neutral background. In order to photograph directly in the localities, he invented a prototype tent studio. It is a construction with an endless gray background, it is possible to add tracing paper on one side and to regulate the light. The result of the contract was not very successful, the contracting authorities did not like it. One day, however, a man with a t-shirt with his navel visible came into the tent, holding a bottle. This iconic figure, bearing the period features of the Czech man, stimulated further photography process.”

  • “Lomnice was a different city than Semily. All benefactors and supporters have historically contributed to its cultural and sports boom. The period disturbance of urbanism was manifested for the first time in 1964, when timbered houses began to be demolished on the square. A similar feature was the controlled construction of supermarkets in the countryside. In my opinion, it was a clear regime manifestation proclaiming: We finally have something to put on the shelves. The aesthetics of socialist abundance were gradually adopted by the people who lived in the villages. I later observed this phenomenon in the series Windows. People did not delay the demolition and alteration of the original windows in the house because of the modernization of their living rooms to accommodate a wall with a TV set, couch or other furniture. The absence of good artisans was first of all reflected in architecture.”

  • Full recordings
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    Praha, 21.02.2019

    duration: 01:52:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 11.03.2019

    duration: 02:00:09
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 3

    Praha, 12.03.2019

    duration: 01:56:21
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I am looking for a detail that speaks of the whole

Portrait near the villa in Lomnice nad Popelkou, author: Bohdan Holomíček, beginning of 1980s
Portrait near the villa in Lomnice nad Popelkou, author: Bohdan Holomíček, beginning of 1980s
photo: archiv pamětníka

Jaroslav Bárta was born on 31 May 1948 in Hradec Králové. However, Lomnice nad Popelkou became a place of high importance linked to his life until today, where he grew up and subsequently lived in a factory villa, which his father bought during the times of the First Republic. Together with his brother Karel he has been involved in photography since childhood, and later in cinematography at the Semily Film Club. In 1968, Jaroslav was admitted to the Department of Cinematography at FAMU in Prague, but completed the school in the emerging photography department led by Professor Ján Šmok. He also became acquainted with photographer Jindřich Brok and theoretician Anna Fárová. It was with her and her husband Libor that he started closer cooperation in organizing the opening of the 9 & 9 team in the Drama Club. The activities started in this way have been prolapsed into a unique group exhibition in the monastery in Plasy. Between 1977 - 1986, he worked as a photographer for the Road and Railway Construction. At the end of the 1980s he indirectly participated in the creation of the extensive cycle Czech Man and the subsequent publication of the book. After the revolution, he and other colleagues were involved in establishing the Association of Photographers and the Czech Photo Association. Together with a team of authors, he realized an extensive topography project called Letem cesmem svetem 1898/1998 in the 1990s. In 2002 he became Head of the Department of Photography at FAMU, where he stayed until 2009. He currently runs his own publishing house and organizes public space interventions at the Boskovice Festival.