Barbora Zurkova & Radim Zurek
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Awareness and Reality

In their series The Replacements, young Czech art couple Barbora Zurkova and Radim Zurek reflect upon the relationship between identity and portrayal, original and copy. Featured are digitally reworked analogue photographs of children whose mimic and gesture exhibit astonishing similarity to that of movie stars’ and other prominent figures’. What is real and what is artificial in these images? Can personal and irreplaceably unique physical features exist in today’s world? In the age of digital image production, global social networks and genetic research blur the former lines of identity. It poses contemporary questions, discovered by the arts as an exciting field for experimentation. The artistic couple, which has worked with the theme of identity for quite a while, touches upon precisely that irritating point that lies between original and copy. It is no longer distinguishable to the viewer where the line between true and false lies. The children could be unknown, close relatives of the famous figures – as if they had similar characteristics only by chance. These similarities are especially astonishing in that they come from the world of adults but are carried over onto the children, bringing the consciousness and knowledge of the viewer into question, as one normally tends to think in clear categories of real or fake. Did photography once guarantee a moment of truth, or at least an unavoidable moment in reality? Here, all certainty is erased. Reality is replaced by an artificial medium. What we see are the mirrored images of our own awareness and reality, saturated by media.

Stephan Reisner
Barbora Zurkova
1987Born in Beroun, Czech Republic
2002-2006VOS and SPSG graphic, Hellichova 22 Praha 1, Polygraphy, Czech Republic
2004-2006Prague School of Photography, Czech Republic
2006Start of studies at Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University, Opava, Czech Republic

Radim Zurek

1971Born in Prerov, Czech Republic
2003-2005Prague School of Photography, Czech Republic
2006Start of studies at Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University, Opava, Czech Republic

Awards (Selection)

Czech Press Photo 2010 - 3rd place / Riverside Paradise
Lab East - 30 photographic positions from Central and Eastern Europe -
Final selection for tomorrows Photographers Today / Musée de l'Elysée Lausanne
Czech Press Photo 2008 - Honorable Mention / The Blinds (Portrait)
IPA - International Photography Awards - Honorable Mention / The Replacement

Collections (Selection)

Musée de l'Elysée, Switzerland
Michaelis School of Fine Art, South Africa
Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand, Germany
Artitled-contemporary art, The Netherlands

Exhibitions (Selection)

Single Exhibitions
2010The Replacement, Artitled-contemporary art, Herpen, The Netherlands
The Replacement, Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand, Ettlingen, Germany
The Replacement / Descendants, Opera Gallery in Ostrava, Czech Republic
2009The Replacement, Month of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia
Homeworks, Gallery FotoGrafic, Praque, Czech Republic
2008Descendants / The Blind, House of Arts, Opava, Czech Republic
Group Exhibitions
2011Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary
Preus Museum, Horten, Norway
Aperture Foundation, New York, United States
2010Centre Gallery, Miami Dade College, Miami, United States
Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy
Photokina Cologne, Germany
Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Tomorrow's photographers today - Les Rencontres d'arles, France
The Twentieth Year of ITF -  Tomorrow's photographers today - Musée de l'Elysée Lausanne, Switzerland
Fotofestiwal in Lodz - Factory of Photography, Lodz, Poland
The Twentieth Year of ITF - Galerie Gamu, Praha, Czech Republic
The Twentieth Year of ITF - National Theater, Brno, Czech Republic
Prague Photo Festival - Exhibition Hall Manes, Prague, Czech Republic
2009Prague Biennale 4 / Prague Biennale Photo 1, Real Unreal, Prague, Czech Republic
The Young Czech Photography, Galeria Luksfera and Galeria Klimy Bocheskij - Warsaw Festival, Poland
Identity of Young Czech Women Photographers, The Hungarian House of Photography-Mai Manó House, Budapest, Hungary
2008Czech Press Photo, Prague, Czech Republic
9PH Identité 08 LYON Septembre de la Photographie, France
Photokina Cologne, Germany
Prague Photo - Exhibition Hall Manes, Prague, Czech Republic
2008Young Czech Women Photographers - Month Of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia
"Czech Start" Fotobild, Berlin, Germany

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