Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Meetings with Remarkable People #3: Vojtech Veskrna

Jul 22, 2017 - Federico Clavarino

“I told the pilot that in my childhood I flew with lots of toys but I also imagined my hand was an airplane. It was enough for me those days but I was curious how the proper flying by hands could look like when done by someone like him. He flew for me for a couple of seconds and I can’t be thankful enough. It was just so nice to see it. Thanks.”

This is the kind of stuff you can find on the blog Vojtech used as a notebook while working on “My Air Force”. I feel it sums up a lot of what is behind his work. I think what I’m trying to say is that Vojtech is able to be amazed by the world that surrounds him, and to be possessed by the will to play with it. Projects like “My Air Force” or “Grand Prix” are born out of the child and the scientist’s desire to find out “how things work”, but also of the artist’s need to mould things into another form as a means of understanding them better. Which is why Vojtech doesn’t only use photography to dissect the Czech airforce by repeatedly visiting an air base with his camera, but he uses all of the strategies he can think of to create his own airforce, from launching a rocket, to building different prototypes of planes, dressing up as a pilot or asking an actual pilot to emulate flight with his hands.

When I first met Vojtech last summer in Latvia my tripod had broken and he offered to mend it. A broken thing is an opportunity for reconstruction, to see if the dots can be joined in a different manner. Ikea furniture can be made into a humanoid being, and a tangerine can be rebuilt inside-out. Photographs are also bits and pieces of something else, some other exquisite corpse brought back to life when pieced together like the scenes you remember from a dream.

Vojtech often talks about dreaming, his heroes are Richard Feynman and Buckminster Fuller.

“The sound the jet made was so strange. It covered everything like water or maybe like honey. There was nothing else, just this noise, people didn’t exist, their noisiest expressions had no meaning. The noise of the jet sticked to the inside of everyone’s head, it was too much. But I enjoyed it. In all this noise I enjoyed my own silence.”