The simple form, organicity, dynamism, and internal integrity of four of Wichterlová’s sculptures – Portrait of Vincenc Makovský (1928), Composition (1929), Bud (1932), and Pit (1964) – formed the basis for Thýn’s photograms and multiple exposures. Jiří Thýn works with photography, objects, site-specific installations, and video installations intuitively. In his own words, he tries to work with photographs as if he were painting – an approach that allows him to express himself authentically and emotionally through the brushstroke. He also draws digitally using a computer, although he does not strive for absolute perfection. In his current work, he tries to find a way of applying his original style to photography in an entirely unmediated manner, using digital processes with an eye to random chance. Silence, Torso, the Present encourages us to engage in silent contemplation, to consider how we perceive time not just in photography but in the entire history of sculpture. It invites us to reflect on “torsos” that, though they evoke heaviness, point to the basic shapes and principles of our existence.
Jiří Thýn’s exhibition project, Silence, Torso, the Present at the House of Photography, follows on his earlier exhibition Archetypes, Space, Abstraction, held ten years ago (23 March – 15 May 2011) in Prague City Gallery’s legendary former spaces on the second floor of Old Town Hall. For Silence, Torso, the Present, Thýn has let himself be inspired by the interwar avant-garde sculptor Hana Wichterlová (1903–1990).