Fate Descends Toward the River, Leading Two Innocent Children

Jan SaudekCirca. 1980

USC Fisher Museum of Art

USC Fisher Museum of Art
Los Angeles, United States

Two young children led into an ominous industrial landscape by a white-dressed heroine: a personification of fate. The nakedness and youth of these children, a common visual allegory for Saudek, plays into the theme of corruption. Once exposed to the corruptive environment, these children will never be the same. Saudek places the three characters in the image’s center, emphasizing both the narrative and the dominant nature of the image’s background. The young children are led into a site of electrical towers, massive silos, and dangling electrical wires — stark signs of a burgeoning industry. These symbols appeal to the negative effects of industrialization. Saudek’s photography points at the failures of the Czechoslovakian government while simultaneously engaging with the Czechoslovakian people, encouraging a critical sense of awareness of their environment. [Corey Gordon, wall text in "Suppression, Subversion, and the Surreal: The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance," USC Fisher Museum of Art, March 9 - May 10, 2019.]


  • Title: Fate Descends Toward the River, Leading Two Innocent Children
  • Creator: Jan Saudek (Czech, b. 1935)
  • Date Created: Circa. 1980
  • Physical Location: USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, The Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection, 2015.13
  • Physical Dimensions: 29.2 x 34.3 cm (11 ½ x 13 ½ in.)
  • Subject Keywords: Black and white
  • Rights: © Jan Saudek | Photography by Kelly Barrie, Panic Studio LA
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print

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