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Birgus, Vladimir

Vladimir Birgus (b. 1954), Czech curator, photographer, teacher and founder of the Institute of Creative Photography Institute of the University of Silesia in Opava; the most successful school of photography in Czech Republic – the Institute of Creative Photography (ITF – “Institut Tvurci Fotografie). He is also professor of the photography department at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Curator of the Opera gallery and the House of Arts in Ostrava and Chief Commissioner of Prague Biennale Photo and the author of numerous books on Czech and European photography. Birgus graduated in literature-theater-film at the Faculty of Arts, Palacký University in Olomouc ( 1978 , doctorate 1980 ). He also studied photography at FAMU in Prague ( 1974–1978 ).

Passionate about photography since the age of 10, Vladimir Birgus enjoys photographing people in various places of their daily lives. In his works from the early days one see the interest in photography which tended towards contemporary, arranged photography. Since the mid- 1970s , however, he has focused mainly on documentary photography . He was one of the first in the Czech Republic to move from sociological documents with clearly readable content to metaphorically and much broader subjective photographs. In the then Czechoslovakia, at the end of the 1970s, social photography did not find much social application. Many raw photographs, showing the devastation of people and the environment during the normalization of the 1970s and 1980s, were published by Birgus only a long distance away.

Since his studies at FAMU, Vladimír Birgus has been developing the Unspeakable Cosi . It contains images with more general themes where it did not matter where they originated. Unconventionally composed, unordered momentary photography Vladimír Birgus strives for a multi-meaning testimony with a series of visual symbols and metaphors in which he themes human sadness, feelings of uprooting, loneliness of a man in the middle of a crowd. Most of the photographs can be perceived as feelings of big cities. Contrast of person and urban architecture. There are many side references hidden under seemingly simple and at first glance unattractive shots only bearing the date and place of the picture.
Since the beginning of the 1980s Vladimír Birgus has been photographing concurrently on color inverse film, since the mid- 1990s his color has been completely dominant. Vladimír Birgus uses color as an expression component and tries to psychological and emotional effect of colors. Such a picture is as less realistic as a black-and-white photo, but all the more intrinsically true.

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