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Othová, Markéta / Return

2000

12 B/W photographs, E.A., Edition 5; 100 × 160 cm

purchased 2018 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture

Return (2000) is a series of twelve large-format photographs (110×160 cm) which represents one of Othová’s first uses of sequential photography. In this sequence, she captures an entirely routine activity – a woman walking a dog along a Prague street lined with parked cars. The series as a whole evokes the frozen frames of a film. Othová imbues this ostensibly unimportant, barely noticeable act with importance by “dissecting” it and disintegrating it to create twelve separate yet inextricably interrelated photographs. This generates a tension between the reality depicted (the banal activity of walking a dog) and the form of depiction (the large-format photographs expanded into a long series).

OTHOVÁ MARKÉTA

(* 1968, Brno) Photographer and graphic designer. From 1987 to 1993 she studied at the TV and film graphics studio of the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. She attended the Institut de France in Paris on a study stay. In 2002 she won the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize. She has exhibited solo and in group exhibitions since the early 1990 – for example at the Jiří Švestka Gallery in Prague, which represented her for many years, as well as at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, the Nicolas Krupp Contemporary Gallery, and various galleries in Bratislava, London, Frankfurt am Main, New York, and Los Angeles. Her work is represented in the collections of several major collections in the Czech Republic and abroad, including the National Gallery in Prague, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and the Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nuremberg. An important impetus to Othová’s career was the emergence of an archival turn in photography during the 1990s; she began to take a conceptual approach to working with photographs from her own foreign travels, experimenting with grid installations. Othová’s works present simple, pure, almost banal black-and-white photographic information which only acquires its power in the context of the entire exhibited work. An important aspect of her oeuvre is her emphasis on the manual craft of photography; she develops and enlarges her own photographs, mostly without further adjustment, and installs them on needles. Another leitmotif of her work is her thematization of time in the form of sequenced photographs.
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