Fotograf Magazine

Lenka Vítková

Stirrings of the Fragments of Language

In 2010, the artist Lenka Vítková (b. 1975, Český Krumlov) exhibited nine black and white photographs in Brno’s Café Steiner, each capturing in enlarged format, and in simply formatted text, the standard visualization of a several-page long text document open on the computer screen. Despite the initial impression of fragmentariness which the snippets of dialogue and diary records displayed evoke, something further emphasized by the chronological but nonetheless random rhythmic pattern of the individual segments, the square format gradually unfolds as an attempt at the lyrical chronicling of shifts in space and time as revealed through language. In the series entitled Rádio sůl / Radio Salt, the artist’s long-term attempt to depict various dimensions through written language focuses on the close interpretation of text through meditative reading. Although the nine squares figuratively represent the intersection of a highly symbolic awareness of oneself and the world, anchored in a stationary plane, in fact the symmetrical forms represent a fluid dimension. In lining up the fragments of text, Vítková is preoccupied with the possible ways in which they may serve as a catalyst for creating movement (or perhaps also space). The square-format photographs thus serve not just as a vertical field accentuating the highest principles, but also a slow-running record of written material, punctuated by the separating horizon line at the bottom of the page. In contemplating and coming to terms with the flow of the meditative travelogue, based on the artist’s visit to Israel, the ceaseless scrolling up and down of the actual flow of the narrative itself narrows down, increasingly becoming a sort of tentative movement back and forth. This merely imaginary motion – negated by the static nature of the medium of photography, yet on the other hand allowed by a correlation to the inner mood of the soul, where physical direction could be approximated perhaps due to the vacillation of whether one should “take a step backward” (not only in the sense of scrolling-up and scrolling-down) – draws above all on the artist’s work with language and its context. To this extent she searches for the genuine source of its potential – new trains of thought emerge through writing, reading, hearing and seeing, shifting from relative meanings towards mental drift in the communicating of a message. 

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