Hitchhike US by Stanislav Bríza
Stanislav Bríza hitchhiked across the US with friend H, documenting their journey via photography. His work Hitchhike US is a solemn ode to H. and her own struggle with a serious mental illness; it pays homage to friendship while also revealing a darker reflection on self and the efforts we go to to appease our own demons. The series is a discursive on idols and idylls in a life filled with suffering. It's also simply a beautiful recollection of Bríza, H. and their time together despite hardships.
Tell us more about you and your artwork.
At the moment I´m finishing photography studies at the Institute of Creative Photography in the Silesian Univerzity in Opava, Czech Republic. I´m was struck by photography at the very early age, yet as a child in early 90s I was spending a lot of time in darkroom provisionally made in a dirty shed and hayloft. If was not serious at all but it was great fun. I started to be more serious around 2005 when I got back in the darkroom and that became my big passion. Later on I established photography magazine Temnokomornik being an editor in chief for two years. After I started to study photography and art generally and my interests were broaden in much more complex way. I still do like traditional aesthetic of subjective document with old film camera but in the same time I like to explore relation between abstract image and photography, I like to explore photography as a medium or tool for artist, I do like explore bad photography. I love to read texts about photography, particularly curatorial explanations being a part of almost every photography exhibition, which are quite often becoming my main subject matter. I like physical objects, I like to think also within the media of a photography book. That´s why I set up publishing platform BFLMPSVZ where I want to fulfil my passion for books and zines.
How did you plan for this intimate project? What was your creative process?
I´m not sure if I got your question. I had quite precise idea before I went to US and the rest was actually pretty much mentioned creative process.
What work inspires or has inspired you?
This is constantly changing. Before I left to US, I was under strong influence of contemporary new document embodied by Alec Soth, Mike Brodie, but also Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Stephen Shore. Recently I tend to get inspired by rather younger artists like Adrian Samson, Lucal Blalock, Karoliina Paatos and her American Cowboy book
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
I´m kind of renaissance man in terms I like to so many different movements. I can´t identify with just one. Concretely It would be New Topology in US, conceptual movement in US (Ed Rusha), New document. But again I never really feel part of it becase I like to keep myself free
Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
This body of work is so intimate. It’s a very inside perspective of her life and so subjective. What was the premise of your relationship with H? Where is she now?
That´s very good question. Those photos and our co-existence would never be possible without our deep relationship which we started as lovers and later on transformed to close friendship. H is doing very bad at the moment. Her body is deeply damaged so that she can barely function in the real life if I can even call it real.
Any words for aspiring photographic artists?
Study and work hard, be meticulous and consistent. And last but not the least, be happy.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
Of course, I´m working with my platform BFLMPSVZ to help my friend to publish his book, which means production, helping with pr, crowdfunding and so on. Re my personal project, I hav e four of them ongoing right now. I don´t want to speak about all of them since some are in very early stage. But I can point out my project Stay Hackey Wick. I document people living with me in very special artistic neighbourhood in London, which is facing gentrification.