Theorist, art critic, columnist, exhibit curator, and conceptual artist. He is the creator of visual and conceptual poetry, photographic poetry and photographic concepts, text installations and conceptual drawings.
Between 1965-1970 he studied German Language and Literature, Czech Language and Literature, and Aesthetics at the College of Philosophy (Philosophical Faculty) of Masaryk University in Brno. In the 1960s and 1970s he addressed the production of visual and conceptual poetry focused on linguistic introspection, text installations, and conceptual drawings, and events touching upon the field of body art, land art and conceptual photography. His poetic texts, bordering between word and image, gradually followed a more radical evolution. They began more to reflect his own language, work with texts becomes subordinate to a strict concept, and he returns to a traditionally-expressed, linear, poetic text: most often tied to the classic haiku form. In 1963 he began to experiment with truly aesthetic qualities of structures of one element from type-writing, most often the full stop punctuation mark. In 1964 he began to lean radically toward non-semantic visual poetry that used typing to create genuinely aesthetic structures, typograms. Since 1965 he has created optic texts, developed from layering and shifting two identical structures (into one grapheme). He further worked with rhythmic texts, whose only material was the hyphen. After 1966 he produced concrete texts, whose structure came about by the regularly interchanging of two or three elements.
By sequencing several pages of minimalistic, typed pages he created his first authored book (the first series dates back to 1968). This medium accompanies all his further works. Between 1969-1972 he hosted photographically-documented, minimalist events and interventions in natural space (i.e. 10 White Squares/10 bílých čtverců -1970, 12 White Sticks/12 bílých tyčí - 1970).
Between 1969-1970 he created the photographically-documented, semantic and mostly verbal interventions with the human body, so-called body poems (i.e. Self-Signed – Own Signature on Own Body/ Sebesignatura-vlastní podpis na vlastním těle – 1972). He worked with photographs, created so-called photo texts, verbal interventions on negatives and positives (i.e. Traces/Stopy - 1973). He also documented verbal interventions in natural environments and made documentation of text events. From 1970 to the end of the 1970s he created a photographic series of conceptual characters, texts bordering between conceptual poetry and concept art. He attempted to produce them in minimal reductions, while at the same time maintaining their full semantic quality. In 1972 he created the piece, 8 Concepts, 8 Pieces of Cardboard/8 concepts, osm listů kartonu. On each piece of cardboard he printed one English word. Later between 1973-1975 he produced the work, Timepieces, drawn records of minimal time periods determined only by the hand’s motor skills and time limits. He also created, Concentrations, attempts to reflect the drawing of a specific expression without sight checks. He developed various possibilities for conceptual poetry and concept-tautology, semantic shifts and complications, repetitive monotonous texts, colour texts, relationships and semantic sketches. His first projects as text installations began to take shape; sometimes in combination with an object. All of these realised works stem from the possibilities of language, sometimes stripped down to only one single meaning, which either functions by itself or in the context of a minimal sketch or colour intervention.
Between 1980-83 he created a large series of works, developed with one single meaning: ultimate generalisation relating to the material in the text itself. In the 1980s he continued with his type of maximum-reduced work. In 1984-85 he created his first series of texts, built from several sequences (arranged) hierarchically and contextually from different levels. In this he tried to cross the internal closedness of the linguistic element or structure. In the mid-1980s he put together an installation, first in non-official space, and later in galleries (exhibition halls), for which the reduction to a minimum of verbalised meanings was characteristic. Text sketches came about, featuring the distribution of identical – or several various meanings – on the canvas. Since 1992 he has worked on paper and put together installations from individual graphemes, whose summarised effect creates a single, expressive paradox-maximum reduction of linguistic material, while at the same time conserving the overall meaning (most closely) associated with the paper material or the canvas (wall). He is one of the representatives of Czech conceptual art with strong ties to poetry (i.e. the classic Japanese form, the haiku). The dominant part of his works belongs to the field of conceptually-oriented art. Works in his installations from recent years, his computer graphics, come from Valoch’s text-on-wall installations, which originally started as drawings beginning in 1971.
Since the 1970s he has served as curator of the Art House (Dům umění) in Brno, where he realised exhibits of works mainly by important Czech artists from the post-war period (i.e. V. Boudník, M. Knížák, J. Kolář, B. Kolářová, A. Šimotová, L. Novák). He conceived the first Czechoslovak exhibits of computer graphics and graphic compositions. He also collaborated on unofficial exhibits, underground (samizdat) catalogues, and anthologies. He is author of several expert articles (essays, monographs) and a range of catalogue texts.
Lasotová, D.: Čtyři z tváří Jiřího Valocha. Ostravská univerzita, Ostrava 2004.
Dalibor Chatrný. Koncepce knihy a hlavní texty: J. Valoch, I. Víchová. Galerie Brno 2004.
Brněnský okruh. Katalogový list k výstavě, Výstavní síň Sokolská 26, Ostrava 2003. Text Jiří Valoch.
Jan Wojnar – Vizuální poesie. Katalog. Text J. Valoch. Galerie města Plzně, Plzeň 2003.
Pierre Garnier – Vizuální texty. Katalog. Text: J. Valoch. Dům umění města Brna, Brno 1993
Heinz Gappmayr – Instalace, práce na papíře. Katalog. Text: J. Valoch. Dům umění města Brna, Brno 1992.
Valoch, J.: Fotografie jako dokument. Konceptuální fotografie. Blansko 1984.
Valoch, J.: Haiku. Underwhich Editions 1983. Canada.
Realizované projekty. Text katalogu J. Valoch. Dům umění města Brna, Brno 1970.
Sedláček, Z.: Jiří Valoch-Textové instalace. In: Ateliér 20/2003, s. 6.
Valoch, J.: Sémantické studie, 2002. Příloha obtýdeníku TVAR-edice TVARy, řada B, svazek 12, 2002.
Zemánek, J., Vojtěchovský, M.: Metafora veřejného a intimního těla. In: Ateliér 2/1998, s. 2
Vojtěchovský, M.: Klatovské výstavy. In: Ateliér 13/1996, s. 6.
Nový slovník českého výtvarného umění. Academia, Praha 1995.
Pavel Rudolf, Jiří Valoch. Galerie Lindner, Vídeň 1992.
Lenka Vítková: Now Art Is Here - article in the Umělec (Artist) Magazine