Fotograf Magazine

Markéta Othová

Book World

Markéta Othová’s exhibition, symbolically entitled Book World, consisted simply of a series of large-sized photography of book covers hung up on the walls. Judging from other graphic layouts, all the works had probably been done by a single author. And that proved to be exactly the case. Othová took pictures of title covers of the books that she herself had graphically laid out in order to be able to bring to the centre of attention two levels of her own life: art photography and graphic design; in the latter case, the most frequent line of her work lies in the graphic layout of art books. The exhibited photography work resembled book posters both by their look and the materials used, creating tension between free and usable levels of her art. We as spectators thus found ourselves at several exhibitions at once: at the exhibition of a distinguished photographer, at a graphic design showcase, but also at a collective exhibition of several photographers whose pictures Othová had used for her book covers. Except, despite this conceptual game, we were made to turn our raised awareness to the authoress’ personality. She, contrary to her success and unmistakeable position within contemporary Czech photography, has never ceased to have doubts about her work, insisting that she does not regard herself as an authentic photographer and putting the work that had brought her this prestigious status on the same level as her graphic art. Her exhibition therefore turned into a sort of silence after a freshly fought inner duel that the author goes through every day, but at the same time offering a chance for reconsidering the sense of photography as such.

Marek Tischler