15 IN 1989 ©1989 & 2014
It presents selection of self-portraits that I took as a 15 years old girl and of photographs of me of the same age. Those images were taken in the summer of 1989, the year when communism had collapsed in The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic at the beginning of its winter, and the year when I was introduced to the camera and photography for the first time in my life. The original prints were either never made or lost and the negatives misplaced for 25 years until I found them again in 2014, already being resident in Ireland and using self-portraiture as the major expression in my art practice. For the very fact that this all was forgotten I have wanted to reconnect with this material since I found the film negatives, hoping to observe a link between my old naïve self-portraiture and the conceptual work I produce now. This project means to reflect on these teenager self-portraits and photographs of me in the context of a present experience rather than past. Although it could be considered as a nostalgic self-exploration, this is not in any case a sentimental recall of the past and my youth, neither is it a political cry. This approach rather concentrates on the importance of archiving.
So far, this idea has taken a form of a photobook dummy where the images are accompanied by comments made in the two languages I speak, in English and in Czech, articulating the girl who I had been and expressing the woman I have become.