Jiří Valoch | i |
last name: Valoch
first name: Jiří
birthday: 1946
birth-place: Brno (Czech Republic)

Jiří Valoch is a writer of concrete poetry. He is also a curator.

In 1968, during the time of the Prague Spring – still before the celebrated exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity opened in London on the 2nd August 1968, and also before the symposium and exhibition Tendencies 4: Computers and Visual Reserach started in Zagreb (Croatia) began on the 3rd August 1968 – Valoch organized in Czechoslovakia (now: Czech Republic, Česká Republika) an exhibition of digital art (then usually called “computer art”).

It was shown in February 1968 in Brno (at Dům umění města = House of Arts), in March 1968 in Jihlava (Oblastní galerie vysociny), and in April 1968 in Gottwaldov (now Zlin) (Oblastni galerie vytvarného umění). The show came under the title Computer Graphics with works by Charles Csuri, Leslei Mezei, Frieder Nake, Georg Nees, A. Michael Noll, and Lubomír Sochor. Frieder Nake gave a lecture at the Brno opening. A little brochure was published (texts in the Czech language).

This show was, most likely, the first of digital art in Eastern Europe. Why would the young concrete poet arrange this? The connection he created between images and text, between calculation and construction, but also between East and West, may have its roots in the rationalistic attitude prevalent in European arts of the time. It is the time of information aesthetics (Max Bense, Abraham A. Moles, and others), of Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s, of experimental theatre, and of the student and youth revolts in France, West-Germny, Italy.

The time was marked by a break away from semantics. Jiří Valoch’s art is, in the 1970s, an art of radical minimalism and of a concentration on concept more than material. In those years, he designed and realized a large number of books in very small editions of only a few copies that he sent to other artists. Those works have a few pages only, often empty, or almost empty pages, and definitely without pictures.

Valoch had a show at Neues Museum Weserburg in Bremen, Germany, from 27 April to 6 July, 1997, under the title Bücher (“books”). As volume 18 of the Sammlung der Künstlerbücher (“collection of artists’ books”), a booklet by Valoch was published. It contains a series of white pages, each of them with just one word (the back of the page is left empty). They read:

»page by page you discover the mystery of this book«.

Valoch was born in 1946 in Brno. He studied Bohemistics, German, and Aesthetics. Since 1963 he has been experimenting with visual and concrete poetry. He is also a curator at Dům umění města in Brno.

Exhibitions organized
posted over 9 years ago
Dear Team of the dada.compart-bremen.de, I would like to be in contact with Jiri Valoch. I am a curator and I would like to inform him about my exhibition concept. Thanks a lot, best wishes Vera Lájer veralajer@gmail.com
posted over 9 years ago
Lieber Jiri, plaese give me your O.K. for a print of your laudatio Domazlice 2011 in my catalog Städt. Galerie Leerer Beutel Regensburg ( exhibition 17.may 2015) Thank you. Very greetings Rita Karrer Kornweg 34, 93049 Regensburg
posted about 8 years ago
Dear Mr. Valoch. I write to you in English, hoping that this might attract your attention; however, I can still manage to write in Czech (I think) as well. If you prefer Czech language, I will simply translate the following text into my old "mother's tongue". Please let me know. I live in Canada since spring 1981. About seven years ago I found out that you had been involved in publishing of the book: Miroslav Pánek: Obrazy a kresby, apparently published by Dům umění města Brna in 2004. Mr. Miroslav Panek had been my art teacher and mentor in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 at the Public School Balbinova 2 in Brno and we had remained in sporadic contact until 1979. In 1980 I left the (then) CSSR and little later I have settled in Canada. About seven years ago I found out that the book: Miroslav Pánek: Obrazy a kresby had been published some years ago and that was the time when I have commenced my drive to obtain one of the copies. Since I had been in contact with my former classmate (and my major rival at Mr. Panek's art class), who still lived in Brno, I asked him to help me to obtain a copy of this book. Although my old friend offered his help, he had been a sick man and he never managed to find the book, nor to establish any contacts that would lead me to it. During those seven years my old friend had been diagnosed with and cured of leukemia twice, he suffered with shingles, he had been diagnosed with severe diabetes and the last year he almost died of pneumonia. This explains why my old friend couldn't help me much, although he really tried. Unfortunately, he had been in and out of hospitals and he didn't have time to do much more. He was rushed to a hospital with pneumonia again in April this year. However, although doctors put him into induced coma in an attempt to save his life, he died on April 30th and his funeral took place on May 9th this year. During those seven years I tried to conduct an independent research as well, and, using Internet websites, I have searched countless shops with used books (antikvariats) in the Czech Republic, but to no avail. I would really appreciate any lead (or leads) to this book. Mr. Panek had been my role model not only because of his views on art. I admired him for his brave anticommunist stand during the time when I had been his pupil at the Public School, and especially later, during the late 1960s and early 1970s during the so called "normalization process". I still recall taking extracurricular art classes inside of Mr. Panek's "cabinet" at the Balbinova 2 Public School. There had been at least forty or fifty finished and unfinished oil paintings on canvases crammed inside and between the closets, on the shelves, between, behind and under the worktables, simply everywhere. There had also been countless drawings and sketches in the drawers of the worktables. Simply, there had been Mr. Panek's artwork everywhere. I suppose that Mr. Panek had to keep numerous paintings and drawings at his apartment as well, and I always wondered where they have all disappeared. As I mentioned above, during those sever years I have repeatedly searched the Internet; however, the only Mr. Panek's work I ever found was the drawing that appears to be titled "Sen Karla Hynka Machy". I found this drawing offered at an auction about five or six years ago (I cannot be sure about this after all those years). Since my oldest friend (and my former art class rival) is no longer with us and he cannot help me anymore, I have no choice, but to go to the source of this book. Thus, could you please let me know, whether there is still any chance to purchase this book, or whether there is any possibility of the reissue of it? I really appreciate your time and best regards, Karel A Grande Hamilton, Ontario L8W 1B2 Canada e-mail address: kandh.ednarg@gmx.com
posted about 8 years ago
Dear Karel, it would be marvellous if Jiri read your words and even replied to them. I am afraid, however, this will not be the case. This database is not organized such that a comment as yours would automatically be transferred to the person you are thinking of. Frieder Nake
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