Jasanský, Lukáš – Polák, Martin / Jan Merta
136 B/W photographs, 34.3 × 48.5 cm, photograph descriptions, 8 × 14.5 cm
purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
The cycle of photographs entitled Jan Merta reflects the duo’s specific creative strategy. As in the series entitled Director and Founder (which mapped the activities of the director of a small Polish cultural centre), the cycle Jan Merta gives a documentary account of the authentic living space in which the painter Jan Merta lived and worked, and which had a decisive influence on his life and work. As in the duo’s other cycles, here too there are no photographic records of Jan Merta’s childhood or adolescence. The painter’s personality is constructed in a different manner – subliminally, via secondary images, settings, and simple documentary records of landscapes – including a large number of buildings with which Merta is associated. The cycle functions as a strongly integrated entity. The photographs bear no traces of sentimentality; they are strictly documentary, and rather than working with expressive emotionality they contain a form of technical narrativity. The photographs are accompanied by descriptions of locations and events. Jan Merta’s wife Marie played a key role in the creation of the work; without her, it would not have been viable to create this unique set of 136 photographs.