Alžběta Jungrová, a former reporter who took photographs of conflicts in places no one else would dare visit, presents a selection of her fine-art photography of the last five years at the exhibition EXIT. Her departure from reportage in favour of creative work and a search for her own world is one of the many “exits” on show at the exhibition. Another is coming to terms with the transience of this world and with the definitiveness of adulthood. Jungrová visualises her feelings through female figures, be they real women with their own complex fates, or simply abstract female bodies.
Curator: Alena Ochepovsky Bartková
The six cycles on show at the Trafo Gallery reveal Jungrová’s versatility and powerful imagination. Traditional images are joined by video, art photography, collages, and a combination of photography and painting.
The classical documentary photography with which Jungrová grew up is represented here by the cycle Women Inmates, which recounts the stories of women who often find themselves on the very boundary of what it is to be human. “I find this an incredibly interesting topic,” explains Alžběta Jungrová. “In a way I’m still trying to discover where our boundaries lie and how far we are capable of going. As I travelled around the world, I realised that a human being could endure virtually anything. It is incredible what we can tolerate.“
However, an element of the documentary is also to be found in the photographs taken behind the scenes at a burlesque seven years ago. Jungrová traced the development of the show, from its beginnings in smoky bars, to lavish performances on the stages of large theatres featuring spectacular sets. The costumes, makeup, choreography and character of the entire show changed over time. Burlesque is unique and mysterious, disappearing and resurfacing over time. It is a fascinating blend of past and present that brings together historical fragments and modern reality. Through visually opulent environments, Jungrová reveals the beauty and fragility of women, as well as their awesome strength.
The theme of fragility and femininity is further explored by a cycle of large, black-and-white photographs entitled In the Mood for Love, a highly personal meditation on love and emotions. The rest of the cycles interrogate the boundaries of photography itself, each in its own particular way. A favourite amongst viewers is “Scratchcards“, originally created for an exhibition at the White Pearl Gallery, the final form of which viewers participate in creating. Individual motifs are intertwined in surreal constellations originating from the artist’s personal vision. In these works Jungrová plays with the expressive contrast of light and shade, as well as the permeation and mirroring of discrete moments.
Pages: 136 (photos), 42 (text and interview)