Action (C2-21) – John Hutchinson
A talk I gave on the work of the Czech photographer, Miroslav Tichy, at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin.
Thursday, 8th January, 2009.
‘In Every Dream Home a Heartache’
Tichy’s work is ambivalent. One commentator wrote that his best photographs, “have the delicacy and poise of a smutty Vermeer”. For me his work is tender and sad. It is also somewhat suspect. The mixture of carnality and hopelessness is moving.
“I printed whatever resembled the world”, Tichy says, but his calibration of reality is peculiarly dreamlike, a dream of longing populated by unsuspecting, often scantily clad, young women and girls.
“I cannot penetrate, cannot reach into the photograph.” says Barthes.
Tichy’s ghosts appear embalmed in a patina of neglect. They are surrogate bodies, as Andre Bazin would have it, “snatched from the flow of time”. The image as soiled apparition, grimy relics filed in the dust and debris of Tichy’s dishevelled rooms.