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Lenka L. Lukačovičová: Grey Book

This project has been supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council

Author, exhibition title: Lenka L. Lukačovičová: Grey Book
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Synagogue - Center of Contemporary Art,
Halenárska 2, Trnava
Curator: Simona Bérešová
Opening: November 2, 2016 (Wed) at 18:00
Duration: November 2 (Wed) – December 4 (Sun), 2016


The photographer Lenka Lukačovičová presents her long-term project named Grey Book in the Synagogue - Center of Contemporary Art, in which she develops two main mutually blending factors: on one hand, it is the topic of female political prisoners in the era of Socialism in Czechoslovakia, on the other, it is a play with the medium of photography and exploration of its borders.
The author borrowed the name Grey Book from a record of the same name from 1950s which was issued by the Ministry of Justice to prove the validity of the process with Milada Horáková. In her works Lenka concentrated not only on Horáková but also on the fates of other female prisoners from that period and on the premises of jails.
The exhibition consists of two main parts which are created not only by photographs, but also by the visitors and the premise of the Synagogue. The most noticeable part is the monumental installation of photographs on glass spread on the ground which capture portraits of female political prisoners in 1950s – 1970s. Right there the visitor of the exhibition becomes a participant who is asked to walk on the glass with the photographs. This also results in destruction which changes the character of the whole installation. It is a so-called work in progress, which means a work that changes during the duration of the exhibition and is "finalized" by the last visitor. The destruction of the portraits also creates a metaphor of the fates of women who were in a figurative sense "trampled on their heads" by the Totalitarian regime of 1950s, which often completely destroyed their lives.
The second part of the exhibition is focused on the jails, their premises and the architecture. The installation of large-format photograph on the first floor creates an illusion which takes the visitor to the premises of the jail. Opposite are photographs transferred onto a canvas, which gives them a characteristics of a painting. Paraphrases of landscape paintings, at the first sight idyllic, even with a jail in the middle, are created.
A similar play with a photograph is typical of the works of Lenka Lukačovičová, and can be found several times at the exhibition. Imitations of painting are confronted with traditional large-format photography and work with the space in the photographies and, because of their installation, with the premises. On the glass photographs and their monumental positioning in the nave of the former synagogue, we can see a sculptural approach to the installation as well as the performative character of the work through its continual change during the exhibition.
All the aforementioned parts make the exhibition Grey Book one great work of art. The photographs together with their installation, the premises of Trnava synagogue and the visitors create so-called Gesamtkunstwerk which will get its final form after the exhibition's end.

Lenka L. Lukačovičová (1987, Trnava) occupies herself photography, mainly in its conceptual form. She often crosses the borders of the medium and works with various installations and materials. She studied cultural studies at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra and photography at Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. From 2014 she has been a PhD student at the Department of Photography and New Media of Academy of Fine Arts and Design. She lives and works in Bratislava.

Simona Bérešová

Supported using public funding by

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Press Release
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