Homage to Josef Sudek

2017 / classic photography, color slides 6 x 7 / inkjet print

Coca-cola cans as pencil stands, coconut shells cut in half and screwed together to make an ashtray, pickle jar used as a vase or an herbs pot, a display of a tea set filled with buttons, watch cogwheels and small change, a nicked beer mug to keep your notes in, and a garden with a pet bottle windmill and old CDs to scare the birds away.

Life hacks stand for ideas that come in handy. That said, this could mean a lot of things with respect to the given region and social environment. Such as picturesque folk recycling of (not exclusively) industrial products of everyday use. Life hacks represent a folk mainstream and social mechanism gone unnoticed at the same time.

One of the most significant figures who indirectly draw attention to this phenomenon is Josef Sudek. Already in the low 50s of the 20th century, he placed a rose into a vessel originally intended for mixing lab photo chemicals – which gave birth to one of the most famous pictures bringing together a still life and the window of his studio. Sudek not only makes a clear division between his inner spiritual self from the one outside his studio, but we can also understand the substitution of the functionality of the lab vessel with a vase as a certain form of irony, black humour, hyperbole, but also as a social status statement, professional statement, display of hobby or even bond to someone in the family perhaps… Such life hacks can be found in everyone’s house or vicinity, and who knows, they may speak more volumes about us than we ourselves may even realize.