The main theme of the Nitra Gallery exhibition is prisons...
The Red Book exhibition by the photographer Lenka Lukačovičová is a follow-up to her long-term project called The Grey Book. The project consists of two basic components. The first one is the theme of politically persecuted women during the socialist regime in Czechoslovakia. The other one is photography which is used in different ways using various techniques.
The main theme of the Nitra Gallery exhibition is prisons. They represent a part of the country, our society and a space which divides the prisoners from “normal life”. The prisons are premises with a unique visual quality. And finally, they also represent places which are full of stories of their occupants. The theme became a part of the artist’s research when she became interested in the stories of women prisoners from 1950s to 1970s. The viewers are not presented with detailed life dramas of the convicts. The artist rather uses their portraits and original documents which are open to interpretation. They can be viewed as a silent reminder of the historical period or as something to think about when it comes to the present day.
The artist takes different approaches to both the theme and the medium of photography without focusing on a specific form. She uses several techniques like digital print or manual blow-ups on glass and canvas which Lenka utilises to open the question of originality and reproduction in photography. She also works with the problem of authorship, because some of the pictures are her own (prison premises) and some of them she made her own by downloading them from various websites (portraits).
Her flexible approach to photography, its history and technologies allows Lenka to use the medium in a free way. It gives the individual prison themes a unique visual language which reminds the viewer of different art genres or evokes various emotions. All of this allows Lenka to create a full picture of these socially and visually specific places.
Lenka L. Lukačovičová (born 1987 in Trnava) works with photography with a focus on its conceptual form. She majored in cultural studies at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra and in photography at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. She has been working on her doctorate at AFAD’s Department of Photography and New Media since 2014. She lives and works in Bratislava.