.BIO...WORKS...PROJECTS................................................................................................................JAN VACA PHOTOGRAPHS 1998-2011

 

PLACES 2002 - 2004

When I was five my parents decided to move out from the town I was born. I have a remembrance of those times. I do not remember the way our house and street looked like, where it was or some of the landmarks
of the town. I do however remember the colour and the type of cobbles of the street. I remember where I hurted my knee when cycling. The remembrance of the pavement is perhaps irrelevant to the others, yet it has some importance to me. I am connected with the place. It is a thread that links me although the remembrance
is banal.

15 years later I went for a trip to a former village of Vitín in mountains České Středohoří which doesn´t exist anymore.The village disappeared after the war due to the escape of the original German population and the place has never been populated again. Even though its roots origine from the 14th century. The trip was very emotional.

There are hundreds of villages and towns with similar fate in north-western Bohemia. They have vanished because the original population disappeared, due to the construction of huge water systems or they were demolished as the coal mining progressed. Before these events happened, the places were populated.

Between 2002-2004 I made a couple of visits to those villages - if one can call the remnants so - and I have been taking photographs there. Walls, little lakes, fallen ceilings or stairs leading nowhere.

Subsequently I have found some of the original inhabitants. Some of them speak German, some Czech but this has no importance. I have asked them all for a favor: to write a couple of lines connected with the places they used to live for a certain period of time. It didn´t matter how relevant their remembrances were. Their words may be more accurate than a elaborate description of the place.  And what about you? What was the colour of the roof of the house you were looking at out of your own window?

 

Project consists of 10 printouts on transparent film 100x70 cms.

 

       
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