Bratislava City Gallery (GMB)
Pálffy palace, Panská 19, Bratislava
5. 11. 2021 – 30. 1. 2022
The exhibition is realised as a pilot project of the newly established Milota Havránková Foundation, in cooperation with the Central European House of Photography, Bratislava City Gallery, and the Department of Photography and New Media, Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. The Foundation ambition is to initiate and support an annual exhibition of two well-established photographers from Slovakia and abroad, supplemented with works by an emerging young artist.
The exhibition of three female photographers from former Czechoslovakia combines three specific approaches describing their search for inner freedom in the world that, for quite objective reasons, seems to be unbalanced, imperfect, or even limiting. The works of each artist focuses on a different period, from hectic sixties and seventies (Milota Havránková), through the post-normalisation calm of the eighties (Libuše Jarcovjáková), to post-revolution present (Zuzana Pustaiová). Each artist has developed an authentic and distinctive photographic language through which they find inner freedom, balance or the essentials that might be invisible at first sight. In a sense, this process can be perceived as a latent, sometimes even intimate revolution from “below”, primarily reflecting the subjective experience and uncovering even the deeply-rooted architecture of social, political, cultural and gender setup of the system in which they got stuck.
Milota Havránková, Photograph from the series Transformations, 1960 – 1965
Libuše Jarcovjáková, Photograph from the series Berlin, 1985
Intimate representation, sincere, even obsessive need to capture the most (un)usual fragments of their total presence, fluid nature of formal depiction, inclination to subtle humour and irony undermining the pillars of different social and cultural stereotypes, and the ability to find the form that moves both lay and expert audience, these are the basic common features in the works of the presented artists. Milota Havránková´s language with the elements of lyrical, even expressive, staged, and analogue photography addresses viewers simultaneously with the authentic diaries of Libuše Jarcovjáková, an underground documentary photographer. The playful staged photographs of Zuzana Pustaiová seem to connect these different “dialects” into a common visual language. The exhibition offers a multidimensional photographic picture of our recent history. This picture has been marked by a strong will of the artists to preserve their creative freedom, which would allow them to latently and consistently resist and reach personal and social catharsis.
Zuzana Pustaiová, Photograph from the series One day, every day, 2020 – 2021
Foundation partner institutions
Exhibition realised with support from