Fotograf Gallery

Silvie Milková
— No Possibility to Jump Over a Plate

Opening: Tuesday, July 9, at 6 pm
Curator: Jiří Ptáček

It’s not hard to jump over a plate. Why should it be? We don’t even have to get a run on it to do so. Still another question is why should we jump over it. I don’t personally know anyone, who has done so. So I can’t ask why they did it. Hypothetically speaking, however, there could be reasons for jumping over a plate. Hypothetically speaking, there could also be reasons (a similarly endless list of reasons), why it is not possible to jump over a plate. For example, Silvie Milková, considers it impossible to jump over a plate. She points out something that prohibits (her) from doing so. The impossibility is spoken, yet it cannot be identified by something specific. It is a figure without a body – a symbol with no centre and, through a verbal shadow, the trauma of her photo images.

While preparing this exhibition I had to ask the artist twice to write me something about her photographs. Otherwise she would have written nothing. Here is an excerpt from one of her texts.

“Whoever clings to unwavering reality is foolish. The nature of everything is fluctuating and deceptive. Our habits, certainties and long-held beliefs are barriers. A sudden huge turn of events can cause a shock. But a long-lasting state of uncertainty, no matter how nerve-wracking or hopeless it might be, hides in itself the possibility to see and comprehend things differently. Photography serves to patch together the cracks in chaos and clarity, just as words give names and lies expose the truth.”

I see the fluidity and deception in her photographs. It’s as if the symbolic eloquence is stifled right before it takes its concrete form. Unspoke… Repetition of several interior elements makes up the playing field that is, of course, closed down and broken. Or it is pure fiction. She is disconcerted both in the syntax of the stories she tells and the situation. It is hard to agree with oneself what can be accepted as an existential testimony and what as a cunningly planned theatrical situation. The Set from Nosferatu could also be (an example) of the creeping heaviness of her images. The core of Nemožnosti přeskočit talíř (No Possibility to Jump Over a Plate) is, of course, mainly suggestive images (beyond sensible explanation), for which a text that might hurt them should never be created. However, to try not to forget could be just as impossible as jumping over a plate.

Jiří Ptáček


Fotograf Gallery is supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture and during the year 2021 by a grant from the City of Prague amounting to 630 000 CZK.