About the Photographer
Czech, b. 1973
Michal Pěchouček has spent most of his career making multimedia works that combine elements of film, painting, and performance. He is inspired partly by abstract painting and its potential to elicit emotion and intellectual questioning. Pěchouček complicates the idea of abstraction by using photography, a medium thought of as best at recording “reality,” to shoot relatively minimal spaces with graphic qualities. Filmogram #1 is a set of twenty-four diptychs, shot once every hour for an entire day, for a total of forty-eight exposures. The images were made on a single roll of film with a 6 x 9 camera with a manual film advance; the unexposed gutters between negatives form black strips that divide the two images. These strips are significant to the series as they indicate the artist’s subjectivity and control of the operation of the camera, but paradoxically also reveal his susceptibility to its mechanical, often unpredictable, nature. The title of the piece, Filmogram, is a play on the word “photogram,” or an
image made by placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing the paper to light. By making twenty-four exposures a day, and exhibiting them in a row, Pěchouček refers to the fact that movie film is generally exposed at twenty-four frames per second. This cinematic quality endows the images with a sense of duration, something that is at odds with their flat, graphic composition and lack of living or moving subject matter.