Jakub Dolejs

b. 1975, Prague, CZ.

We can read photographs, we can distinguish a holiday snapshot from an advertising pitch, we can easily decipher most Photoshop tricks – we are in control of images. In my photographs I suspend this belief for a brief moment before the eye discovers it’s been fooled by a simple trick of staging them in front of a painted backdrop. Suddenly the existence of a real space beyond the trompe l’oeil fiction of the photographed painting becomes critical. It’s this space between the narrative of the painting and its anonymous surroundings where my images acquire their meaning. We are forced to deliberately accept the fiction, knowing that it would disappear if the photograph was cropped just few inches larger.

In my work I often trace the origins of our current relationship to art, from recontextualizing Hogarth’s Marriage A La Mode , to questioning the notion of the artist as genius in C. D. Friedrich Sketching My Homeland, 1810 , and, more recently, commenting on modernist design and architecture in Moderne and Vista (Brasilia) . In my newest work I photographed a painted set to recreate Johann Zoffany’s 1778 conversation piece The Tribuna of the Uffizi . The original painting depicts members of the Grand Tour society mingling among the renaissance masterpieces of the Medici collection. In my version I created two different sets with the artwork in the room hung in various configurations. Jakub Dolejš was born in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1975. Dolejs is considered to be one of the most exciting young photographers in Canada, and has been curated into many significant exhibitions across Canada, the United States and Europe. He showed at the Montreal’s Mois de la Photo in 2005. In the Spring 2006, Dolejs completed an artist residency in Paris funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. His work is included in a major survey of staged photography at the National Gallery of Canada entitled Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre.

Curriculum Vitae

The London Set

In the Headlights