Masopusty – Jan Mihaliček

For last five years Jan Mihaliček was attempting to catch the last glimpses of its magical mysteriousness and mysticism, still present in the ritual. For him the masopust has drifted away from its original role of a community cleansing ritual. It comes alive again in the form of visually appealing gatherings of large crowds of people. Its masks reflect on its former traditions, but generally without its strong spiritual ritual. Despite of masopusts being a very colourful festivity, his monochromatic images helped to bring the attention back to the former meaning of this holiday. 

This selection is of Mihaliček’s photographs from the last 5 years in 5 different locations, including the well-known masopust in Roztoky u Prahy. 

Jan Mihaliček (1965) became interested in photography before 1989. He photographed people from the Czechoslovak skateboarding and snowboarding community and beginning 1987 he collaborated on a couple of samizdat publications. After the December of 1989, he worked as a photojournalist in Lidové noviny. He was taking photos not only in Czechoslovakia but also in various foreign countries. He took a special interest in violent conflicts and humanitarian actions of then newly founded People in Need NGO. In the year 1994, he joined the journal magazine Týden as an editor, as well as a photographer. These days he works for Seznam Zprávy, documenting important as well as everyday events in the Czech republic.

In his personal works, he concentrates on black and white documentary photography in the spirit of humanistic photography. Since his work is encompassing human society in the broad sense, it also had to touch the topic of Masopust.

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