Who is Roman Vondrouš, winner of the GRANT OF PRAGUE CZECH PRESS PHOTO 2010, who is opening his exhibition FRAGMENTS OF METROPOLIS as part of this year’s CZECH PRESS PHOTO 2011?
Grant of Prague – a one year creative scholarship to photograph changes in the capital – is awarded by the Mayor of Prague, on the recommendation of the International Jury Czech Press Photo, to the participant in the competition, whose submitted work demonstrates a professional approach to the subject. At the end of the year, every grant recipient has an obligation to provide to the Mayor of Prague two sets of their best photographs for archival and exhibition purposes. After seventeen years of awarding the grants, the Prague Town Hall has received a representative set of over five hundred photographs which enables it to follow and evaluate the changes in Prague from various perspectives - social, architectural, new developments or the expansion of the city into the surrounding countryside. The establishment of the Grant tradition as part of the Czech Press Photo competition was a historical accomplishment by the Mayors of Prague for future generations.
In 2010 the Mayor of Prague awarded the Grant of Prague to Roman Vondrouš, Czech Press Agency (ČTK) photographer, on the basis of work-in-progress in which he follows people’s lives in confrontation with the environment and architecture of Prague’s housing estates.
“The original inspiration for my work on this topic was a photograph of a transparent bubble that was part of an art installation at the STREET FOR ART festival which took place in Jizni Mesto in Prague. I had the idea of taking photographs of the city’s housing estates in confrontation with the people who live there for a long time and by receiving the Grant of Prague I could continue discovering new perspectives on various localities in the city that most people find uninteresting and alienating. My aim was to not only to document the architecture of the estates but also to bring non-traditional views on fragments of the city and situations that are very different from the ordinary perspective most Prague people perceive daily. To show that Prague, and above all its housing estates, are not just grey uniform structures anymore, but that possibilities are opening for a dialogue between architecture, people’s lifestyles and their aesthetic needs. To show that there is a public space inspiring people to spend more of their free time there and to experience their immediate surroundings differently, because normally people are not used to expect much from their housing estates. I mostly took individual photographs at the largest housing estate in the Czech Republic – Jizni Mesto; and also at Cerny Most, Letnany and Stodulky, along with some other parts of Prague and its suburbs”.
Roman Vondrous was born in Pardubice in 1975. He studied at a Middle Electro-Technical College, followed by a photography apprenticeship and currently is in his fifth year at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. He’s been taking photographs since childhood, but seriously since 2000, when he got interested in sports photography, especially horseracing. As a freelance he worked for regional daily newspapers but also earned his living as an electro technician at Czech Railways. Since 2006 he has worked as a photographer for CTK (Czech Press Agency), doing agency reporting. In 2008 he photographed the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, two years later the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. He is a many times recipient of Czech Press Photo awards.
Czech Press Photo 2010: Grant of Prague, 2nd prize Nature and Environment, 3rd prize Art and Entertainment
Czech Press Photo 2009: 2nd prize People in the News and 2nd prize Art and Entertainment
Czech Press Photo 2008: Nikon Prize
Czech Press Photo 2007: ISIFA Prize,
Czech Press Photo 2006: 100 years of Velka Chuchle Racecourse Prize
Czech Press Photo 2005 1st prize Sport
Czech Press Photo 2004: 2nd prize Sport