The exhibition 'White Spaces in Slovak Photography' traces the work of photographers who studied under Professor Milota Havránková from 1972 to the present, whether at the Art and Design High School of Bratislava, the Art Photography Studio of the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts and Design, or the Photomedia Studio at Banska Bystrice College of Art.
Milota Havránková (b. 1945) belongs to the first generation of professional photographers who studied under Ján Šmok at Prague Film Academy (FAMU) in the late 1960s, and remains one of the most outstanding innovators in the history of Czechoslovak staged photography. Her work is characterized not only by the diversity of her technical, formal and conceptual approaches, but also by the wide range of artistic disciplines in which she is at home - from design and fashion, book illustration and monumental photography in architectural interiors, to painting, staged and art photography and experimental film. In the dawn of the digital age back in the 1980s she quickly saw the visual potential of the new technology, and by the end of the century she was responding spontaneously to the new media in her own creative work and teaching. In 1991 she joined the staff of the Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts and Design, where for the next twenty years she helped create and implement her vision of a practical, systematic and constructive method for teaching creative photography. Her work as teacher and practising photographer thus helped steer art photography and art education towards the respected position they occupy in today's intermedia world.
The exhibition concept is to map the major milestones in the work of these photographers through their various periods and schools, focussing on the evolution of photography as a medium in the context of new developments in the visual arts. All are themselves important figures in contemporary creative photography, while nearly all have remained actively committed to teaching, thus continuing Havránková's pioneering work in shaping arts education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The exhibition also includes the younger generation of photographers who, sometimes with audacity but always with respect for the medium, are pushing the boundaries of photography into the realm of postconceptualism and intermedia.
Anna Vartecká, curator