Aleš Kuneš: photographer, teacher, journalist, curator

Born: February 2nd 1954, Prague, Czech Republic
Father: Karel Kuneš, cycling champion and coach
Mother: Marta Kunešová, born Kalinová
Sister: Z
uzana Kolomazníková, actress

Photography training institution /1972/, Secondary graphics school in Prague /1976/, FAMU (The Film Academy of Fine Arts), department of artistic photography (in class of professor Ján Šmok) /1985/

Until 1989 (apart from documentary-oriented cycles) he held only two independent exhibitions, both together with Jan Hudeček (born 1995), a photographer, who tragically died in 1989: Fotografie: Divadlo v Nerudovce, Prague (1981) and Diarchie: Melantrich Gallery, Prague (1988). He also carried out several projects with photographs in the Prague´s borough of Karlín and in Mníšek pod Brdy. From spring 1989 he has worked on a "Campaign" for the northern bridgehead of the Barikádníků bridge in Prague. The entire project was delayed due to the murder of Jan Hudeček and also due to the events connected to the fall of the communist regime. The project was reinstated in November 1990, when the author covered a huge area of the industrial architecture surface with his photomurals. Subsequently there is a number of similar performances, taking place in the public space such are streets, parking lots, empty factory halls, subways. His exhibitions took place on the suburbs, in second-hand shops, harbors and other places around the entire Europe (France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Scandinavia). Some of these exhibitions were arranged with Divus publishing house. As far as Czech official galleries in are concerned, his exhibitions included: Adheze, PHP, Prague (1992), Milování v kuchyni (Making Love in the Kitchen), Galerie mladých U Řečických, Prague (1994), Pro strach uděláno (...) (No Problems With Fear), Malá Galerie, Liberec (2000), Trio Vihorlat, Galerie U mloka, Olomouc (2004) and Nepřestávejte skórovat! (Don´t Stop Scoring!), Galerie Artistů, Brno (2005). Last three exhibitions were arranged in cooperation with Petra Benešová.
     Some exhibitions outside the Czech Republic include appearances in Basel (1992), Aarhus (1993), Antwerps (a meeting of artists from post-communistic countries named Art in Freedom, 1993), Copenhagen (1993), Mannheim (1993), Halmstad (1993), Köln (1996), Groningen (1997), St. Petersburg (a festival called Eastern Europe After the Berlin Wall, 1999), etc...
     During the nineties he holds a number of exhibitions in Europe, USA and Australia. In Prague for example The Highest Burgrave Yard of the Prague Castle (1996), Prague´s National Gallery – A Collection of Contemporary Art in Veletržní Palace (1997), or Prague´s Municipal Gallery – Municipal Library Hall (2005).
     His works are represented in the collections of Ludwig Museum in Köln, National Library in Paris, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum of Photographic Art in Odense, The Arts and Crafts Museum in Prague, Moravská Gallery in Brno.

     Since the beginning of the seventies he works as a teacher of photography and his work is mostly devoted to free creation. This also includes happenings, performances and public space presentations (Pěst na oko / from the late eighties). Since 1990 he works as a lecturer at the Institut tvůrčí fotografie Filozoficko-přírodovědné fakulty (The Institute of Creative Photography at the Faculty of Philosophy and Science) at the Silesian University in Opava, in 2002 appointed associative professor in the conferment of FAMU. In 2014, activities at the university ended on health grounds.
     During the eighties he scarcely published some of his elaborate works upon the history of avant-garde photography between the world wars. His essay on the theory of photography between the world wars was later also published in the book Česká fotografická avantgarda 1918-1948 (Czech Photographic Avant-garde 1918-1948), KANT, Prague 1999). By the turn of the decades (80.-90.) takes part in the work of the photography theoreticians section by ČSAV (The Czech and Slovak Academy of Sciences). He was a member of the Aktiv volné fotografie (Causus of free photography) from its founding at the end of the eighties (between 1993 and 1997 also a member of the board of trustees of the Prague House of Photography).
     After the downfall of the communist regime in 1989 he, apart from teaching, focuses on journalism about photography. There are many of his write-ups, critics and other articles for Daily Telegraph (together with Jaroslav Vanča – until 1997), later he cooperated with Lidové Noviny (in the beginning with Ľuba Kmeťová). His reports appeared for example in Yazzyk, Analogon, Ateliér, Divus, Umělec, Film a doba, Fotografie magazín, Foto Video, etc. and also on the Vltava Radio. Together with Blanka Chocholová he published a book about Václav Chochola (2003). Since 1990 he also organizes various photographic and artistic happenings (together with Jolana Havelková he founded the tradition of the photographer´s meetings named Funkeho Kolín /1993/), together with Ivan Mečl and Divus company he presented an exposition of artists Bazar nábytku na Libeňském Ostrově (The Furniture Garage Sale on the Libeňský Island), subsequently, with the same colleagues he arranged a huge presentation Nádraží Praha – Vysočany (Praha – Vysočany Railway Station) /1996. For the Prague House of Photography he arranged expositions Hranice fotografie (The Borders of Photography) /1995/, Emilia Medková /together with Alena Nádvorníková, Prague 1995 and Berlin 1997/ and Surrealistické incidence (Surrealistic incidents) /1996/. In cooperation with the Prague´s Arts and Crafts Museum and with the curator Jan Mlčoch he also arranged exhibitions of Jan Hudeček (2001) and Jindřich Štyrský (2002). In the last couple of years he mainly focused on work with young photographers in projects of inter-medial creation in his classes at the IAP.

Birgus-Mißelbeck-Vojtěchovský: Tchechoslowakische Fotografie der Gegenwart. Museum Ludwig, Köln – Edition Braus, Heidelberg 1990 Kol: Encyklopedie českých a slovenských fotografů. ASCO, Praha 1993
Kol: Nová Encyklopedie českého výtvarného umění. Academia, Praha 1995
Birgus-Vojtěchovský: Jistoty a hledání v československé fotografii 90. let. KANT, Praha1996.
Kol. Umělecké dílo ve veřejném prostoru, Sorosovo centrum současného umění. Praha 1997.
Birgus-Scheufler: Fotografie v českých zemích 1839-1999. Grada, Praha 1999
Alan a kol.: Alternativní kultura. Příběh české společnosti 1945-1989. Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, Praha 2001.
Kol: Slovník českých a slovenských výtvarných umělců 1950-2001. Výtvarné centrum Chagall, Ostrava 2001.
Rišlinková a kol.: Česká a slovenská fotografie osmdesátých a davadesátých let 20. století. Muzeum umění, Olomouc 2002.
Kol. : Kdo je kdo. Osobnosti české současnosti. Agentura Kdo je kdo, Praha 2002.
Kol: European Photography Guide 8. European Photography, Göttingen 2003.
Škvorová: Aleš Kuneš. Magisterská teoretická diplomová práce, FAMU, Praha 2003
Birgus-Mlčoch: Česká fotografie 20. století – průvodce. KANT, Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum v Praze, Praha 2005


Aleš Kuneš in front of his studio in Prague – Smíchov in 1995. Photo by: Lucie Škvorová
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