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Best Photography Show 

Ladislav Bielik

We think the purpose of photography is, very simply, to show reality in a different light. When the Arts Incubator brought photographs from the 1968 Czech popular uprising to town in May, we saw a Big Historical Moment transform from words in history books into people on a street. You know how, on days when something monumental is happening, it feels really weird to do normal things like trying to light a cigarette or pick out something cute to wear? The vast majority of Ladislav Bielik's photos represent such uneventful scenes from the day when Soviet tanks, ostensibly on their way to a celebration of Czech independence, plowed into Prague. In one photo, sunglasses-wearing hipsters laugh and talk. In another, a desperate-looking man has jumped in front of a tank, trying to defend his city with his own life. History books would have us view the scene as though it took place on a game board, with tanks invading in one swift move. They would leave out the person whose back is turned, the person who thinks everything is going to be normal for a few minutes longer than it actually is. That person might actually be enjoying the nice weather.

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