Light and Dream Frequence: Kamil Vojnar
by Alessandro Trabucco
In the images ofÂ Kamil Vojnar (Moravia, 1962), mixed techniques having as a main medium the photography, we find the symbolic and warm light of the Seventeenth/Eighteenth-Century Great Masters’ painting, the one that had its more representative exemplaries in the masterpieces of Caravaggio first and Rembrandt afterwards, then Georges de la Tour and Joseph Wright of Derby.
Even nowadays, as it was centuries ago, the light is therefore interpreted by some artists as a supernatural and embracing entity, privileged vehicle of messages that exceed the physical materiality to become an instrument of connection between the earthly and the transcendent, the reality and the dream.
Kamil Vojnar’s works impress especially for their dreamlike atmospheres, dominated by enigmatic presences, feminine characters in levitation, attracted upwards through a simple electric luminous source, or angelical figures who rest or pray, or else little girls or women who make simple gestures whose meanings are unknown, but from which a primordial light seems to gush, a little but intense source of energy capable of radiating, in the whole surrounding environment, an enormous vital warmth, a generating and consolating primigenial force.
A specific feature of Kamil Vojnar’s pictures is just that they do not have a well defined temporal connotation, both in the choice of the subjects (in the middle between human and spiritual figures) and in the interventions performed on the surface of every image.
The artist defines himself as a self-taught photographer and in the performance of his own works more factors contribute to determining the final outcome, confering to anyone of them an aspect that we could define “antiqued”, something like the colourings manually made with the ecoline on his own black and white photographs by Jan Saudek, who – as we well know – dated his pictures one century earlier, therefore around the end of Nineteenth Century, just for highlighting both the out-of-time aspect and the technically more manual and “pictorial” one.
A performing methodology, the Kamil Vojnar’s one, that proceeds through stratifications, combining the photographic printouts with a series of superimpositions of other fluid materials, such as oil and wax, that soften the contours of the depicted subjects and shade off the depth, bringing the attention of the glance only to the visual intensity of the represented event.
Kamil Vojnar, Attracted to Light
The work Attracted to Light is the one that most impresses the glance for the strongly dreamlike imagination that it represents. The female figure levitating in the vacuum, as the work title itself says, is attracted by a luminous source, a simple electric lamp.
But we are not allowed to know the nature of this magic and supernatural event, neither in which status of consciusness the protagonist of the image is. There are no particular elements describing what had been occurring in that precise moment; it is a frozen instant in time and space, a familiar-like environment even if almost completely without objects. Only an intense red-coloured sofa and a mirror set in an elegant wooden frame are the background of a hypnotic and involving scene anyway.
The electric light becomes the catalyst of our glance other than the magnetic force that attracts the woman. It is as if the artist wanted, in some way, to highlight the primigenial power of the light, no matter whether generated by an electric filament or the flame of a torch.
Everything comes from the light and it will go back to the light.