When leafing through the book one has the feeling of running into a modern Robinson Crusoe: a buccaneer with an unkempt beard and a patched-up old vest, Miroslav Tichy uses old instruments more or less repaired with scotch tape or cardboard, that seem to come out from some boatwreck or have been pounded. The man is a photographer but it has taken us a long time to notice it. Though there is currently an exhibition-consecration at the Centre Pompidou (until 21 September), the first article on his work only appeared in 1989, when he was 66 years old. That is because Tichy’s work - images that are often blurred, recentered, drawn over with a ballpoint pen - is quite special. He is an observer, a «voyeur», who dedicated himself for over a quarter of a century to one single occupation: to photograph from far, with homemade lenses, women or fragments of feminine anatomy stolen in the street, in the countryside, on the shores of a lake. In brief, the sort of person we would tend to lock up in a psychiatric hospital (which was actually the case in his native Czechoslovakia) rather than honor in a museum of contemporary art… In 2004 the great discoverer Harald Szeeman presented his work at the Biennale of Seville. Tichy has not been taking any photographs for a long time, but now he definitely seems to have come out of the shadows.
• Miroslav Tichy, publications Centre Pompidou, 2008, 178 p., ISBN : 978-2-84426-364-3, 29,90 €
Review published in the newsletter #99 - from 4 September 2008 to 10 September 2008