In his work Jiří Thýn explores the possibilities of photography and tests the boundaries between the photographed and the seen. Though he classifies his photographs into cycles, he does not create large series of pictures on one theme. He uses a cycle as the framework for examining a certain problematic, which he shows from various perspectives. At his exhibitions he combines photographs of various formats with three-dimensional objects and creates a rhythmicised whole, where the interstices intensify the communication. He uncovers photography in order to show what predetermines all work in this medium. In his work the photographic tradition is unobtrusively linked to contemporary post-conceptualism.
In the photographs from the cycle Best Before (2004-5), which address the themes of time, space and intimacy, the captured reality becomes partly a fiction, when a person is transferred into a headless body and installations are created from everyday items. The author’s intervention clears away redundant information, configures reality and transforms the meaning of the visible.
In the photographic cycle All the Best (2005-6) the author reveals the transitory nature of our existence through an examination of age, fading beauty and transience.
Jiří Thýn builds the photographic image. He does not enrich reality through a simple selection of perspective, but creates a targeted new reality. In Still Lives from 2007 he systematically searched for the ideal composition, spending fourteen days photographing items on a desk, in order finally to select two pictures (Composition No. 17 and Composition No. 27, 2007).
He continued to work with space in the collection 4 Corners of the Hilton Hotel (2008), which he created for an exhibition in the Etc. Gallery. Taking pictures of all four corners of the building meant photography of the otherwise elusive three-dimensionality of the building, which paradoxically is totally flattened out in individual pictures and is only present in them thanks to our experience with space.
In 2009 at the Hunt Kastner Gallery Thýn exhibited a large object reminiscent of a billboard with the words “Downfall of the West, Lost Contact with the East”, in which the gallery is mirrored. In these photographs (inter alia from the cycle So Sad in These Luxurious Times, 2008-9) he develops the theme of the mirroring of reality and continued his research into the (im)possibility of capturing reality in photography.
In the cycle 50% Grey he subjects photography to a wide variety of tests and arrives at works which no longer offer information as to what is displayed in them but instead recount by what means they reveal the medium of photography. The black and white photograms presented at exhibitions along with the original coloured glass matrix (Positive Negative, 2009) and striped trials blown up on baryte paper are dealt with using principles analogous to photography.
Jiří Thýn also worked with the symmetrical relationship of positive and negative in a project for Gask Art Fest, as part of which he organised a concert at which a Bach organ concerto was played using a mirrored rewritten score (Reversed Harmony, 2009).