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Redakce Vladimír Birgus, spolupráce Petr Vilgus a Tomáš Pospěch, webmaster David Macháč phpRS.

Pavel Mára: Space
Czech photographer Pavel Mára, whose name could almost pass for the angel’s greeting “Ave Maria”, has focused on sacral themes for the past twenty years. His Figures, Veils and Madonna’s created during the 1980s and 1990s bear witness to this. These works resonate in both chords of Western and Eastern spirituality. Mára’s photographs often draw on Christianity’s visual repertoire (Veronica’s Veil, for instance), but their inner content exceeds the framework of one tradition and moves toward a more embracing spirituality, often in the specific form of “a spiritual body”.

His latest series of photographs from 2002, entitled Space, was created within the walls of the Terezín fortress. Connotations brought on by the word Terezín posit us before an inconsistent moment: It is a space historically saturated in the tragedy of a collective body, and at the same time, a space of its actual dematerialization. A similar dual meaning is prevalent in Mára’s pictures as well. His typical interest in male and female nudes is suppressed in this series through a liberation of the body itself by employing a technique of exploration and through the final precision of the picture. The set of colourful staged nudes, which was instinctively created without any plan at a workshop, was actually shot by digital camera intended for small format pictures and printed on a large-format plotter printer. This choice of monumental enlargement with low resolution caused a specific transformation of the image layer: Unhidden pixel raster appeared on the dark background areas, which enabled the “pulp” of the image to stand out. At the same time, colourful flashes made bodies appear flatter, and made them transcend into glazing layers, causing an evocative sublimation of the body in the pictures. In connection to this, we can speak of a certain dissolution of the corporality in the medium. The painting-illusive character of these images is gradated the most by the use of textile underlay strung on blind-frames, which creatively sieved a sparkle of pigmentation due to its texture.
The form of a short series, which develop a similar motif, encourages the viewer to read images as something like a story. The story of a man whose face is hidden. The light contrast plays the key role in the relationships within the photographs: the figures of the night scenes are literally dressed in green, red and blue light. Nuances of coloured light characterize the atmosphere of the image and at the same time, slightly modify and shift the story. Windows play a specific role in the pictures – as sources of a fluctuant light of differing quality and intensity. They are also the possible exits or escape routes out of the picture and story. Unfocused, they float in the air, fall down like meteors or comets, shoot rays of light; elsewhere they even absorb, shine through and dematerialise the figures. A gloomy construction resembling a scaffold dominates the dark space of the exterior, which can be viewed as a refrain for the whole series. It is lit at times, and subsequently cools down together with an embrace. In another place it almost disappears and turns into a hint of thin poplar trees. The ground beneath the feet almost disappears together with the intensity of the light.
The stories usually take place within a certain timeframe – they start, culminate and conclude. In these photographs the story takes place as though independent of time. Episodes of the Terezín series are too short to unfold in time, in spite of the fact that the exact chronological marking is paradoxically the only thing that gives an indication of the pictures’ order. The entire action of the photographs ends in a pervious interval between the isolation into two, and a sudden isolation within the isolation. And this leads to the question of why the man remains faceless. The simplest answer is given by the image itself. Simply because the man in the pictures turns his back to us.
Time is actually with him, it works for him.


| Autor: Lucia Lendelova | Vydáno dne 03. 12. 2003 | 2983 přečtení |

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