Young emerging artist Romana Drdová has prepared an original “photography-and-light” installation. Blue, White is her first solo exhibition in Prague.
There is a duality to the position of photography in contemporary art: As against the tradition of painting or sculpture, photography still remains a “young” or “new” medium, on the other hand it has long enough history for its communicated contents and messages to be explored and its position revised: What is photography as such, what are its (technical) possibilities and how can one work with its intrinsic qualities – e.g. its direct relationship to the depicted reality, while being a manipulation, an angle of view, at the same time. An artist emerging on this scene has an uneasy task to find her or his place among the already established authors who often experiment with the possibilities, technical composition and declarative value of photography, or explore its overlap with other media including an installation, a video or an object. At the same time, he or she must cope one way or another with the overwhelming amounts of technical novelties and ever more perfect images surrounding us in our everydayness.
Romana Drdová, a young artist who commenced her studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, Markus Huemer Studio in 2011, finds herself in this position. The exhibition she prepared for the Kostka Gallery is a subtle, well-thought-of exploration of the photographic medium, by means of which the artist communicates on a very original level. Light – something so essential and yet almost impossible to grasp, one of the main prerequisites of life as well as of photographic depiction, becomes one of the key topics of her work.
In her installation, Romana Drdová pursues mainly the principle of photography fading. In her case, however, fading is not the effect of time, but a well devised play with the light conditions under which a photograph is made and successively exhibited. Large prints depicting almost abstract curves of a landscape are accentuated by a play of white and blue light, in connection with just one window letting a fraction of daylight into the gallery space. The installation has almost a Zen effect. The rounded hills in the mist may not be more than colour shades, it’s not quite clear where solid matter ends and where – the sky (heaven), void, spiritual realm – begins. The photographs are so dematerialized and free from unnecessary contents or message that they themselves are drawing near mere beams of light.