Forside / Exhibitions / Petr Řehoř: My Father’s Story

Petr Řehoř: My Father’s Story


ART EXHIBITION 24.09.2022 – 23.10.2022

In the art exhibition “My father’s story”, the Czech painter Petr Řehoř explores the story of his father, Josef, who was a forced laborer in Norway during the Second World War. As was the case in many families in the post-war period, little of the prisoner’s experiences were passed on from father to son. With the help of some photographs and knowledge of the places where his father was imprisoned, Řehoř has visited former prison camps in Norway together with the Finnish photographer Pauliina Pasanen. By visiting the places, talking to local people and processing their impressions through art, they have attempted to build an understanding of Josef Řehoř’s history. The exhibition consists of paintings and works in mixed media by Petr Řehoř, a series of photographic works by Pauliina Pasanen, and even some art works drawn by Josef Řehoř himself.

The exhibition marks the end of a collaborative project between the Falstad Center and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague. The project has received support from the EEA & Norway Grants and from the Norwegian Embassy in the Czech Republic.

BACKGROUND:

The artist PETR ŘEHOŘ was born in 1949 in Varnsdorf in northern Bohemia. He grew up in the industrial town of Kladno near Prague. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he got married in 1974. His wife came from Finland. The year after the wedding, Petr followed her to Finland and stayed there. After his father’s death, his mother sent him his father’s photo album from Czechoslovakia. There he learned about his father’s story from when he was in Norway, the story of his forced deployment during the Second World War.

“I first became interested in this when I was in Finland, and said to myself that since I live so close to Norway, it is a shame that I have never been there yet. And when I retired, I started preparing for the journey.”

During the opening of an exhibition of his works in 2018, Petr became acquainted with the Norwegian ambassador Robert Kvile, and through him with the journalist Terje Englund. And so the preparations for the project “My father’s story” began. Thanks to this, Petr became familiar with the story of his father’s involuntary work stay in Norway. From the beginning of the project, he collaborated with his wife; the photographer and educator PAULIINA PASANEN.

“Pauliina documented our travels to Jilemnice and Norway, to Trondheim and Falstad. From there we visited two suggested sites, and found the area where my father had lived in a labor camp during the war.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Petr Řehoř is educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and has lived in Finland since 1974. His paintings have been exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in Finland, the Czech Republic and Scandinavia. He is also represented in important Finnish art collections and has carried out several public commissions, such as the mosaic floor in the public library in Ilomantsi. As a curator, he has promoted Finnish art in the Czech Republic and Czech art in Finland.

Pauliina Pasanen is a photographer with a PhD in art pedagogy from Aalto University in Espoo. She is employed at the LAB Institute of Art and Design in Lahti.