Classic Photography in Villa Tugendhat or an Unforgettable First Day of School
Two remarkable events took place at Villa Tugendhat on Monday 3 September 2012. Ten children attended the afternoon three and a half hour long creative workshop and eleven adults came to the evening two hour long lecture. Both thematic get-togethers were particularly appropriate for the Villa in light of the hobby of the original owner Fritz Tugendhat.
PhDr. Dagmar Černoušková from the Study and Documentation Centre of Villa Tugendhat and a tandem of photographers and teachers Mgr. Gabriela Kolčavová and Mgr. BcA. Roman Franc focused on a group of ten children in the first programme. Three Johannas, two Annas, Sarah, Sophie, Adam, Jonathan and Timo spent the second half of the first day of school in a truly special way. After a guided tour of Villa Tugendhat by the architecture historian, the group was led in creative work in the shade of the plane tree in the garden led by the professional photographers. They made use of enlarged plans of the structure and reproductions of photographs from the interior of the Villa. Inspiration from the garden façade of the Villa and the enclosed plans culminated in drawings with black markers on plastic folders into which paper details of the most commonly designed furniture were placed along with various plants located in the garden. These collages consequently served as the bases for the creation of photograms during the lighting in the photography studio. The developing of original photographs on photography paper in the dark room was a new experience for the young artists full of excitement, mystery and surprises. The concluding group drying of the children's work in the garden was also a spontaneous and informal art opening upon the arrival of the parents.
The evening was designated for adults with this being already the third offering of a photography focused meeting on the grounds of the Villa (two two-day workshops with large-format cameras took place in July and August). Both professional and amateur photographers received a range of information from the already mentioned lecturers concerning both theory and practice in the area of classic photography. The event took place both in the exterior as well as the interior with the lecturers presenting and commenting on interesting examples of contemporary domestic and foreign photography (for example, Gregory Crewdson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Avedon, Václav Jirásek, etc.) as well as providing a taste of their own work: Gabriela Kolčavová portraits from Nepal and Roman Franc from the cycle Sokol Seniors.