Visual Poetry

Jiri Valoch

From 1965 to 1970, Valoch studied Czech and German literature and aesthetics at the Faculty of Philosophy, Masaryk University in Brno. He has worked as an art critic, theorist and curator since 1966. From 1972 to 2001, he was a theorist and curator at the House of Art (Dom umenì) in Brno. Currently, he is curator at the National Gallery in Prague. Since 1966, Valoch has participated in numerous individual (in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Austria) and group exhibitions. He was a member of the Klub konkretistu (Club of Concretists) from 1968 to 1972, and the Klub konkretistů 2 from 1977. Valoch is a poet and the author of visual and conceptual poetry, photographic concepts, events, interventions in the natural environment, artists’ books and text installations. In 1969, he organised the pioneering exhibition Partitury – hudebnì grafika in Brno, where it was possible to see work by artists including George Maciunas, Ken Friedman, Willem de Ridder, Wolf Vostell, Cornelius Cardew, Ben Vautier, George Brecht and many others. Valoch corresponded with a number of Fluxus artists (e.g. Maciunas) and took part in events such as the Spatial Poems by Mieko Shiomi. Some of his scores are obviously inspired by the Fluxus artists and their events; he makes minimal interventions in everyday situations, which may be announced as an artistic piece or not. For example:
the room is divided by a diagonal painted on the floor with a white chalk, visitors normally walk around the room, so they gradually disturb this line. two options:
a) the visitors know about the existence of this piece
b) the visitors are not informed about its existence

8 Sonnets [PDF, 3.9mb] 1969.