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Dalibor Bednář: Paris, Paris …

The town on the River Seine has doubtlessly changed a lot since the times when Henri Cartier-Bresson captured the every day situations of Parisian streets through the viewfinder of his Leica. And yet, thousands of photographers have been trying since Bresson’s times to eternize the pulsation of the city, to find the “decisive moment“ as naturally as this guru of candid photography.
Dalibor Bednář who was taken by his profession into the exact world of technics and close calculations, does not deny that Henri Cartier-Bresson had become his idol a long time before he could visit France and its capitol.
He was enchanted by Paris immediately and he keeps getting back there. The photographs on display were taken during a few visits in the last 3 years. Bresson-like way of perception of life is very close to this quiet and inconspicuous observer, who can patiently wait for his moment to click the camera. The result can be such an unrepeatable shot with a unique atmosphere which captures an ordinary sparrow having a rest on an empty café table and that drew attention of a lonely sitting man who might have come to the lonesome garden café to have a rest after a tiring day or might have been waiting for his partner…Each photo tells its short story of everyday life which can be offered by all big cities but only Paris has the unique, unrepeatable charm, multiplied by busy boulevards as well as quiet lanes with out-of-the-way little shops of bouquinists in Latin quarter, characteristic taverns having their own history, or street painters in Montmartre… No matter if a receptive photographer is observing the life in streets of Paris sitting on a chair in a street café, on a bench in Luxemburg gardens, or looking out of a modern art gallery window.
Bresson once said that if a photographer wanted to find his or her “decisive moment“, it was especially a question of concentration. “Before shooting you think, you contemplate, you look, look, look, look. Then you shoot, and get it…The difference between an average and good photo is a question of millimetres…“ As well as Bresson, Dalibor Bednář uses full frame of films to tell his own stories by his photos from Paris. Bednář’ photographs are virtually the result of concentrated observation of everyday life, with a strange, unintentional easiness as if the author gave a free range to things (and stories), and let them go their own way. As if he offered room for thinking to those, whom he shows his pictures as unbiased observers whose minds then develop other stories of everyday life.
Bednář’s interest in photography is not a randomly chosen hobby. He got in touch with it in his childhood, while watching his father  – an amateur photographer – develop, enlarge, and sort photographs at home, not only for “the family album”. When his father died, he inherited his photographic equipment, which brought him to his own creative activity that turned into en earnest artistic interest that sometimes had to recede into the background due to work and mainly family needs. Since the end of the nineties Dalibor Bednář finds his way back to his biggest hobby with a new intensity which is very close to a professional obsession. In the centre of his attention there are still photos of people as well as landscape photos. Now when he can use top quality technical equipment (not meaning digital cameras, computer processing, scanners, labs, and other achievements of modern technologies but working in principal traditionally, developing his photos step by step from black-and-white negatives in the darkroom), he works wit a different perspective and aims. He takes photos of landscape, towns, portraits, and nudes. For him towns are symbols of symbiosis between nature and people. In various nooks and corners he can see former or only anticipated presence of people and their relationships. He presents his photos in exhibitions and publishes his own individual calendars. Two years ago he opened together with his old friend an exhibition gallery G7 in Chelčického Street in Ostrava.
“When you feel good, you can do what you like,“ confesses Dalibor Bednář, who is going to celebrate his 45th birthday this year. He is preparing three individual photo exhibitions, and adds: “I am a little bit shy to take photos of people right in the street. Therefore all my pictures are taken from a distance. On the other hand, I am attracted to making portraits but it is another aspect of my work which is not included in this collection.”
Special thanks go to Klárka Řezníčková who enlarged and prepared all the photographs for the exhibition.

Bohdana Rywiková
Ostrava, March 2005

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fotografie/Dalibo Bednář/krajina/akty/lidé/města/příběhy....
Dalibor Bednář, Spojná 192/17, 709 00 Ostrava - Nová Ves, Czech Republic, tel. +420 602 531 763,