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Ivo Loos / Photographer 1966 - 67

Ivo Loos / Photographer 1966 - 67
Author: Antonín Dufek
Category:Books, Photography, Art
Language: English and Czech
Translation: Stephan von Pohl
Binding: Hbk
ISBN: 978-80-7437-105-9
EAN: 9788074371059
Date: 2013
Issue number: 1.
Price: 22 EUR
Size: 21 x 23 cm

Ivo Loos (1934-2009)

My meeting with Ivo Loos was one of my most important encounters. Loos was different than the photographers I knew ⓓ both as a person and as a photographer.
Antonín Dufek

Although Ivo Loos worked all his life as an architect, he also left his mark on the history of modern Czech documentary photography.
Loos first came to the public’s consciousness as a photographer in the 1960s. In 1970, he had his debut with the series Carnivals (later called Fairs) at Československý spisovatel’s Little Gallery on Prague’s Národní třída. This series was the result of decades of work and introduced a new level of quality into Czechoslovak photography. Despite the growing popularity of 35mm film, Loos stubbornly clung to square-format film; as an architect, he realized its calming effect on the image. The pictures’ seemingly static nature gives rise to an inner dynamic – hidden, implicit, and yet so turbulent, passionate.

Loos was primarily interested in the semantic relationships that arise from the clash of anonymous human figures, faces, facial expressions, and body language. They are relationships into which we can read all manner of social meaning. Ordinariness, mediocrity – Loos sought out these qualities at public gathering places. He sensed that precisely in this conventionality of human routine lay the truth about us and our time.
In his other series, even those he never completed, Loos managed to capture the unique situations and character of the era. His photographs portray the various personality “types” that helped to shape the banality of socialism.

Loos’s photographs are exacting documents that can also be understood as parables of life under the dictatorship of the 1970s. And yet, his view of human existence is largely timeless. Photography was his visual memory. On its deeper meaning, he said: “It has the ability to tell us what we are.”

Ivo Loos had planned to create a comprehensive portrait of urban society, but in 1975 he stopped photographing altogether.

This book presents a cross-section of his series: Faces, The Czechs, The Hot Dog Eaters, Journeys, Fairs, and Cemeteries. It also includes a series of unique photographs documenting the creation and installation Jan Palach♙s tombstone, on which Loos worked as an architect alongside sculptor Olbram Zoubek and which was destroyed by members of Czechoslovakia’s State Security soon after its installation.