Doing tricks with photography

Doing tricks with photography

An interview with photographer Pavel Janek

Nora Čechmánková

Pavel Janek (1933 Bratislava) studied photography at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava between 1947 and 1953. He worked as a photographer in the Centre for Folk Art Production between 1955 and 1967. He started a career of a freelance photographer in 1967. He concentrated predominantly on making photos of artworks. He was a freelance photographer for lifestyle and fashion magazine Dievča (Girl) for twenty years. In addition, Janek came with several collections of art photographs that won recognition as part of the Slovak avant-garde movement. Currently, he has revived cooperation with the ÚĽUV and makes photos of procedures used in traditional productions.

He was part of the team of people who had made field research and kept records of folk costumes and traditional productions in the ÚĽUV. Janek made photos of folk products and graphic design of bulletins published by the ÚĽUV. He participated in numerous domestic and foreign art photography exhibitions. He had individual presentations of his artwork in Bratislava and other Slovak towns. His inspiration usually came from contemplating over something – it is the case of the collection of photographs Náš každodenný (Our daily). Janek also used the photogram technology (working as photographers do but without using a camera).