ExilesPhotographs by Josef Koudelka
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About Exiles, Cornell Capa once wrote, “Koudelka’s unsentimental, stark, brooding, intensely human imagery reflect his own spirit, the very essence of an exile who is at home wherever his wandering body finds haven in the night.”
In this newly revised and expanded edition of the 1988 classic, which includes ten new images, Josef Koudelka’s work once more forms a powerful document of the spiritual and physical state of exile. The sense of private mystery that fills these photographs—mostly taken during Koudelka’s many years of wandering through Europe since leaving his native Czechoslovakia in 1968—speaks of passion and reserve, of his rage to see. Solitary, moving, deeply felt, and strangely disturbing, the images in Exiles suggest alienation, disconnection, and love.
Exiles, edited and sequenced by Koudelka and Robert Delpire, evokes some of the most com¬pelling and troubling themes of the twentieth century, while resonating with equal force in this current moment of widespread migrations and transience.
In 1968, Josef Koudelka (born in Moravia, 1938) photographed the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, publishing these images under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer). Koudelka left Czechoslovakia in 1970, became stateless, was granted political asylum in England, and shortly thereafter joined Magnum Photos. Koudelka has published ten books of photographs, including Gypsies (1975; revised and enlarged edition, 2011), Exiles (1988), Black Triangle (1994), Invasion 68: Prague (2008), and Wall (2013). Significant exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, both in New York; Hayward Gallery, London; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Koudelka is the recipient of the Medal of Merit awarded by the Czech Republic (2002) and in 2012, was named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He is based in Paris and Prague.
Czesław Miłosz (essay), poet, essayist, translator, and novelist, was born in 1911 in Lithuania. He moved to Warsaw in the late 1930s and during World War II worked as a writer and editor for Resistance publications. In 1961 he became professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. He received numerous honors and prizes, including the Nobel Prize in 1981. His books include The Captive Mind, The Seizure of Power, Native Realm, and The Separate Notebooks. He died in 2004.
Robert Delpire, born in 1924, began his publishing career at twenty-three with the journal Neuf. He went on to publish Robert Frank’s The Americans in 1958 and for over sixty years has shaped much of the world's understanding of photography. A prolific magazine and book publisher as well as curator and designer, Delpire has had a defining hand in the careers of many master photographers.