Yuri Dojc

Yuri Dojc was in the small spa town of Bardejov, Slovakia, shooting a documentary about holocaust survivors, when the warden of the local Lutheran church approached him. The man took Yuri to a former Jewish boys’ school that had been untouched since the Second World War, after its occupants had been taken away to Auschwitz.
Yuri’s photo of the abandoned library at the school had a profound effect on him, and led him to start a new project, which he calls Last Folio. It features images from former Jewish communities in Slovakia of schools, cemeteries and synagogues abandoned during the Holocaust, with an emphasis on the books left behind. In an era where books are disappearing, this project shows the history of books and the beauty of decay. Some of the books turned to dust when picked up.
“I wanted to make the books into objects of beauty and memory, bringing different levels of feeling,” says Yuri. Last Folio has been exhibited in several countries, including Canada, the United States, the U.K. and Belgium, and has had a profound impact on many people. Yuri continues to add images.

Dojc grew up in Hummene in Eastern Slovakia, where his father was a headmaster of a secondary school and his mother a math and art teacher. The family later relocated to Bratislava. In 1968 when the Soviets put the kibosh on the Prague Spring, Dojc was on summer vacation in the U.K. and decided not to come home.
Resettling in Toronto he studied photography at Ryerson University where he worked alongside Christie Blatchford, Jojo Chintoh, Paul Workman and Paul Chato on the school paper, The Eye Opener. Upon graduation he opened a studio and began developing his inimitable brazen yet whimsical style.
In the 1980’s during the height of the poster business, Dojc’s images were everywhere from college dorm rooms and dentist offices to background eye candy on movie and television sets. His bestsellers “Legs”, “Bicycle”, and “Chair” remain essential pieces for completionist Dojc enthusiasts.
Dojc’s work is coveted by prestigious museums around the world and his pictures grace the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Library of Congress in Washington, and the Rothschild Foundation in the United Kingdom.