Fotograf Magazine

#34 archaeology of euphoria

At the end of 1989, totalitarian regimes in Eastern Bloc collapsed, which radically foreshadowed the development of the next decades and became an impulse of the end of history, the concept by Francis Fukuyama who theoretically outlined the post-historical phase of Western neoliberalism in 1992. The prevailing bipolar view of the political change at that time often simplifies the situation. With sufficient distance today, we can look at the political and social changes not from the perspective of a turning point, but rather of “melting” or “transition”. It is a chance to describe not only the turning point itself, but also the overtures and finales of the related transformations, an attempt to describe many misunderstandings across the society, its dead ends and excesses. Such a perspective should not look only at one milestone, but at the entire transition phase from the 1980s to the establishment of neoliberal capitalism.

The 1980s and 1990s were also a time when postmodernism became more widely established as an artistic direction in Czechoslovakia. Postmodern theories not only responded to the sudden looseness of many fields, including arts, but also legitimized a number of disparate eclectic processes, thus actually delaying a real discussion on modernity as an aesthetic and social milieu. How are all these fundamentals and roots of our present democracy seen from today’s perspective? To what extent are we able to formulate our position at that time and compare it to where we really want to go today? What social and cultural identity did we accept, and under what conditions, and what have we kept from it?

Highlights:

Stephanie Kiwitt

Christopher Niedenthal

Lukáš Jasanský & Martin Polák

Marge Monko

Simon Menner

Pavel Jasanský

#34 archaeology of euphoria — Profiles

Marge Monko

Gender and class – the two categories of feminist and Marxist theories – have been conflated in Soviet ideology into the hybrid term of a “working mother”: an oxymoron featuring a female figure both submissive and revolutionary, domestic and public, feminine and masculine…

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#34 archaeology of euphoria — Profiles

Christopher Niedenthal

Christopher Niedenthal was born in a London family of Polish immigrants in the postwar years. Taking photographs in London, however, failed to satisfy him. He felt a lot more attracted to Poland – not to its communist regime, but to life in Poland and young Polish people who seemed more open, friendlier to him…

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#34 archaeology of euphoria — Profiles

Simon Menner

Simon Menner’s photographic practice is concerned with surveillance and pictorial propaganda as the main mechanisms of power in our current conflict-driven times. In the context of post-truth politics, his work feels even more pertinent…

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#34 archaeology of euphoria — Profiles

Stephanie Kiwitt

To look back means to look into your own fabulous face. In principle, it is like looking at an old woman’s face trying to see a girl in a school photo. The girl was sitting in front, second on the left, and the old woman still has the same lips and eyes like when she was eight…

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