Close Darkness
photographic series, b/w photographs on canvas in plastic overlay


Alena Kotzmannova represents the conceptual stream of photography, which has gone through a delectable development in the Czech lands in the recent years. Kotzmannova pictures events, which seem ordinary and taken out of their context. She compiles such images into series or leaves them to demonstrate their individuality. Her photographs are far away from any later manipulation. Even though the portrayed situations and objects may seem unreal, the touch of the contemporary world can be still felt from them. Ordinary objects and environments become communicable metaphors for subtle feelings and moods, they become the language of fanciful and subjective prose.
Alena Kotzmannova enlarges her photos to a photographic screen, fitted in a wooden frame, because she feels a certain need of collation with the world of painting. She also works with formats, which are not standard in the contemporary photography.

The three photos (Central Station, Someone Is Calling You, Gas Station), are linked by their night, mysterious character and by the objects, which diffidently come out of the deep darkness. Each of the pictures portrays a couple of similar or identical objects, which are, however, an expression of human loneliness. It is not coincidence that there are technical and industrial objects in the pistures. Instead of getting us closer to each other, means of transportation get us further apart. Street lamps only increase the darkness. Abandoned phones usually remind us of those who did not call.

Tomas Pospiszyl     
art-critic and independent curator
(from the catalogue The Second Zlin Youth Saloon, 2000)