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Just who is Vendula Knopovà, the crazy, brilliant winner of the Hyères Festival?

 

Humour, absurdity, inventiveness and even madness… On Sunday April 24th the photo jury, presided over by William Klein, awarded the Grand Prix du Jury to the brilliantly eclectic work of Czech artist, Vendula Knopovà.

A MAKER OF SMART AND ABSURD IMAGES

 

Inside Villa Noailles, the venue that hosts the annual Hyeres Fashion and Photography Festival, lots of people walked straight past her work. Probably because Vendula Knopovà took a polar opposite approach to traditional photography, right down to her mode of presentation. No frames, no big format prints that catch the eye. The Czech photographer preferred a little counter worthy of a beachside kiosque where she hung postcards, key rings, fanzines and her "Tutorial"… All made using her out-there photos or found images she's upcycled in her own way. "Tutorial contains a selection of photographs from my mother's hard drive. I mixed them up with my snap shots of our weird family episodes," she explains. Perfectly in tune with the zeitgeist, the young woman has fully integrated the significant evolutions of her era into her work: the melting of any boundaries between private and public life and the disappearance of physical photography in favour of an image reproducible in every possible support. A DIY image maker rather than photographer, she undoubtedly seduced jury member Jean-Paul Goude who's known for his commitment to this type of designation and work… 

“Ambassador of humour more than artist”

 

With her baroque mise-en-scenes, funny images and colourful, pop clichés, Vendula Knopovà seizes every opportunity and appropriates every situation life throws at her: from a sheep's devilish eyes provoked by a camera flash to a ping pong table transformed into a dinner table. Hers is the lovechild of Maurizio Cattelan's magazine Toiletpaper and the works of Swiss artist Walter Pfeiffer. "Photography allows me to express my sense of humour in just a couple of seconds. My brother is a psychiatrist: he once said to me that all artists are a bit mad. I prefer to think of myself as an ambassador of humour more than an artist."

A media communications graduate from the Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Vendula Knopovà won the Arte Creative Award in 2015. And this Sunday she was crowned at the Hyeres Photography Festival by a jury composed of, among others, William KleinJean-Paul Goude of course, and designer Gareth Pugh.

 

vendulaknopova.tumblr.com

 

www.villanoailles-hyeres.com

 

By Thibaut Wychowanok

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