Kalhous, Michal / Untitled
fomaspeed variant photographic enlargement; 108 × 78,8 cm
purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
This photograph originated in a Swedish hotel room where the artist stayed on his travels. It encodes both a microcosm (the cold, impersonal atmosphere of a hotel room) and a macrocosm (interpersonal relationships). The macrocosmic dimension is present in the photograph at first sight, and is communicated to the viewer without any need for familiarity with the context in which the photograph was taken. The lamp, which illuminates both beds equally, is a symbolic arbiter, a shared vertical line which fairly divides individual worlds of subjectivity from each other. However, paradoxically, the lamp – which usually has a softening effect on interiors, making them more cosy and intimate – functions here as a cold barrier preventing intimate proximity. Without depicting any human presence, this photograph comments on inner human psychological attitudes and desires – though it can also be viewed as a more general assessment of contemporary human society, from which closeness is slowly but surely disappearing.