Pavol Breier (Slovakia) – Orava
Exhibition: ROK, 1 Maja 8
Meeting: AULA, Modrzewskiego 12 – AUTHORS’ MARATHON, 9th October (Sunday) at 9.30. a.m.

Pavol Breier

Born in 1952 in Bratislava. He graduated from the Prague Film Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU).
Ever since the end of the 1970s he has been regularly producing cycles of photographs featuring mountain regions, concentrating thematically on the life of people in the mountains and on mountain landscapes and wildlife (cycles about Orava, the Pamirs, Himalayas, Tibet and other regions).
He has often presented his work at group or solo exhibitions and he is the author or co-author of a number of photographic publications (e.g. The Pamirs, The Little and White Carpathians, On the Roof of the World, The world of Tibetan Buddhism, Labrang: The Universe of a Tibetan Monastery, Shepherds).
He teaches photography at the Pan European University and at Comenius University in  Bratislava, Slovakia.
As a mountaineer, he participated on a number expeditions to the highest mountains as the Himalayas, Caucasus, The Pamirs, etc..


Pavol Breier has been interested in the colorful life surrounding Slovak shepherd´s huts for over forty years.  He began documenting the life of shepherds as a student at FAMU and continues to do so even today. His interest has resulted in an extensive cycle of images of this significant part of Slovak traditional culture. It presents pictures from the life of shepherds, particularly in Slovakia. Most importantly, they have selected a different approach to life than most. They are more dependent on themselves and left themselves, they are frequently confronted with social isolation and human lonliness, but they feel no need to keep up with the majority, they have more space for personal independence. They do not live by an ordinary way to behave at atypical environment. They fight back distress by bottle, they watch TV together and their dogs are actually „the best friends of a man“.

Breier´s photos from the shepherds life are documentary and dynamically balanced. His photographic work is based on matter of facts. Pavol Breier, the documentary photographer – ethnologist, convincingly demonstrates that life programs and philosophy are more important than local traditions and ethnic boundaries. He dedicates his work to the subject of mountain people in Slovakia and often in the Himalayas, too.

                                                                         Marián Pauer


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