At the beginning of the Book World exhibition it is appropriate to talk a little about Markéta Othová. She entered the Czech art scene in the 1990s and was awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, soon becoming a representative of a new generation of artists working with photography. Although she has never considered herself a photographer in the true sense of the word, she is now considered an important member of Czech contemporary photography. Recently, however, she deals more with graphic design than her own artwork. She deals with graphic design of exhibitions along with museum exhibitions, and she also works on art books.
At the Book World exhibition, these two professional identities are layered over each other. She exhibits photographs of book covers she has designed. She deliberately excluded art books about herself that she had designed. Although this photo-graphic combination arose from a reflection of one’s own position between the two disciplines, the resulting set has been partially depersonalized. What seems more interesting to her is a kind of self-examination of the interface between photography and graphic design.
In all, the entire exhibition could be characterized as articulation of various interfaces. At the show there are photographs taken of photographs. Apart from one of them, Markéta Othová is not their author. Is it a solo or collective exhibition? And what is the information that photography in the art gallery transmits if this is done in the same way that book covers are presented in functional presentation circumstances? Are we at the exhibition of documentary photography of graphic design? Why are the obvious aesthetic qualities of these prints questioned by the technological printing solution used?
“What is photography?” asks the editor Karel Císař in the title of the anthology of translations of theoretical texts about photography. Markéta Othová designed and typeset the book. Logically, she exhibited a picture of her cover, and asked the same question to her own photos, to herself, and to us.