18. January - 17. March 2011
Jindřich Štreit was born in Vsetín, Czechoslovakia in 1946. In 1967 he received a bachelor's degree in art education from the Faculty of Education of the Palacký University of Olomouc. While studying at the university he was encouraged by one of his teachers, Jan Bukovjan, to develop his interest in photography. During this period he participated in several exhibitions and competitions at the faculty and held his first solo exhibition. In 1973 he opened a gallery in the village of Sovinec in northern Moravia (Czech Republic) and soon began collaborating with avant-garde artists from Prague, Bratislava, Brno and other cultural centres. Since 1972 he has devoted himself above all to scenes of village life and portraits of Roma. Between 1974 and 1977 he attended the Artistic Photography School of the Czech Photographers' Association. Following his participation in an unofficial exhibition of alternative art in 1982, he was arrested by the secret police. On the basis of an interpretation of his photographs as "defamatory" of the authorities, he was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment - perhaps the only case of its kind in the entire history of photography. After he was released, he was not allowed to return to teaching but nevertheless continued his work in the fields of culture and art.
The 1989 Velvet Revolution changed his life dramatically. Since 1994 he has worked as a freelance photographer. He has taught at a variety of institutions, among them the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), where in 2000 he also received his doctorate, the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava, and the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Bratislava. Štreit is a member of Association Q in Brno, the Association of Olomouc Artists, the creative photographers' group at the House of Photography in Prague and the Artists' Union in Prague. His work has been shown in more than 900 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. He has published 26 books and his photographs appear in some of the most important public collections. Several films have been made about him.