Fotograf Magazine

#45 hypertension

Feelings of hypertension, a hyper-tense body, hypertension of the heart, hypertensive impulses, hypertensive images, hypertensive stimuli, hypertensive behavior, hypertensive individuals, hypertensive situations, hypertensive information flows, hypertensive media, a hypertensive flow of notifications. Is your blood pressure still the same? Is it rising? All fine? Are you feeling okay?

Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is a metaphor for the question of the new virtual “I” and the changeability of a newly formed identity, the theme of this year’s Fotograf Festival, hypertension23, and also of this issue, which this time breaks away from the usual concept due to the connection to the festival, bringing a more concrete form, more akin to a catalogue. On this occasion, Fotograf Magazine is more intimately linked to the exhibition at the Trade Fair Palace curated by Monika Čejková, the curator of this exhibition and the whole concept of the festival. She discusses the topics of the visual novel in order to raise questions on the influence of digital technologies and their massive effects on the contemporary experience. This issue’s next guest is Tina Poliačková, who curated the second part of the exhibition, which will take place at the Fotograf Gallery. In her text, she delves into #corecore, a TikTok trend expressing distance, post-ironic reactions and the world of fatigue, melancholy, and media overload.

In the Project section, we can look forward to an extract from the book The Extreme Self and a text by Shumon Basar, who co-authored the book. The aforementioned graphic novel is a unique commentary on the accelerated culture of today and how the present and the future have become one and the same. Monika Čejková then conducted an interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson, an American artist who, since the 1960s, has been working with new technologies, cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and the key question of identity and the associated urge to create alter egos. In her flagship project, Roberta Breitmore, Leeson transformed into Roberta by wearing wigs, putting on specific make-up and costumes, and created official documents proving Roberta’s existence. The project explores themes of identity, gender, and the construction of a self in a society that often imposes narrow expectations and norms, which is a key theme for many of the artists in this issue. In the Theory section at the issue’s close, philosopher Rosi Braidotti explores the complex relationship between cyborgs, nomads and feminist theory, and challenges conventional notions of subjectivity, power dynamics and the boundaries between the human and the technological.

Inhale, exhale, the pressure will settle down – especially if we first accept the situation and then try to find our place in it.


Markéta Kinterová