Essay by Anna Farova. Interview by Karel Hvizdala.
Known for his higly formalized, sensitive images of the vestiges of gypsy life, Czech photographer Josef Koudelka has been traveling the world since 1962, documenting their communities in Eastern Europe, England, Ireland, France and Spain. Living as his subjects do, constantly on the move and defiantly independent, Koudelka has always refused magazine and commercial assignments, and has worked for years without a permanent darkroom. Focusing on the rituals of everyday life, on birth, marriage and death, he has produced years of work, including the cycles reproduced here: Theater, Gypsies, Prague 1968 (Invasion), Exiles and Chaos. These well-known series are complemented by lesser-known photographs from the 1950s. Included as well are an essay by Czech art historian Anna Farova, who has followed Koudelka throughout his career, and an extended interview with the artist conducted by Karel Hvizdala over a period of ten years.