MARTIN STRAKA / Monsieur Le Mans
This year will mark a century since the first-ever race was held at the legendary Le Mans circuit – a mystical theatre of dreams which has been the stage for immortal stories, victories and deaths, and which has given birth to many motor racing legends. Above all, it is a place of powerful emotions! This somewhat lyrical description is not gratuitous: it has been written in an attempt to evoke the all-pervading vibrancy that we can experience at motor races. The roar of the engines, the tension of the crowd, shouting, joy, despair, fatigue, shock, champagne…
Le Mans is a unique 24-hour race, one of the trinity of global motor racing events alongside the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. Martin Straka has been bearing witness to this trinity for 18 years.
As a renowned photo reporter for Reflex magazine, Straka has also captured the infectious energy of the Colours of Ostrava music festival. His lens documents live performances such as ballet, theatre and musicals, and he is a photographer for Ostrava’s gallery of Fine Arts. He has received numerous awards, including a prestigious Polish photography prize for his poetic images of a train frozen motionless by an ice storm that paralyzed the Czech Republic a few years ago.
This exhibition presents Straka’s outstanding photographs in an environment that evokes the atmosphere of the century-old 24 Hours of Le Mans. You can look forward to the famous Dunlop bridge, a 1971 cult film featuring Steve McQueen, the evocative sounds of the race, Martin’s own voice, and much more…
Martin Straka, Jiří Jůza
The opening was taken place on Tuesday 6 June at 5 p.m.
Curator: Jiří Jůza
Text: Martin Straka, Jiří Jůza
Translation: Christopher Hopkinson
Graphic design: Katarína Jamrišková
Promotion: Jana Malášek Šrubařová, Magdaléna Staňková
Educational programmes: Hedvika Dalecká, Jana Sedláková