Fotograf Magazine

Jolana Havelková

Jolana Havelková’s photographic cycle entitled Transient Meetings was actually created in the darkroom: thanks to a slight shifting of the negative outside of the enlarger lens’ plane of focus, the contours of the model photographed were strangely confused, as if veiled. They did not, however, disintegrate into black-and-white spots that would loose all connection with the original image. They were rather transformed into a new shape. In a certain sense, the author is working against a typically ‘photographic’ quality here (photography understood to be the realistic medium par excellence) and, what is especially important, she does so by purely photographic means. She could have easily transformed her images into digital form and played with them on the computer. Then, however, her works would have lost their enigma, like that of a footprint in the snow, a blurred mark that is the result of precise craftsmanship with light and chemicals. The umbilical cord has not been cut off here yet. Havelková is able to balance on the edge of that, which is still recognisable and that, which is not recognisable anymore (balancing means being able to manage and make use of chance), on the edge of reality and dream; that is, in a place where these opposites cannot be clearly distinguished yet. This extreme treatment of the image shows something that pertains to all photographs – even those we have got used to as proofs of our everyday experience – photographs presenting objects in their absence.

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