Sensitive data

Jolana HavelkovŠ

The boundaries between private and public are becoming more and more vague. Personal data is being traded, the number of more or less hidden cameras recording human movement and behavior is increasing, and many people voluntarily share their private life on Facebook. Jolana HavelkovŠís Sensitive Data series freely responds to this situation, but in a much more subtle and ambiguous way than to be described as socially critical or voyeuristic.

Jolana HavelkovŠ searches for installed cameras that monitor and record the most diverse places in the country, in the cities or in the countryside - busy places, but also those where during the long hours and days nothing really happens, except the alternation between light and darkness. The camera system continuously produces a long series of images from different times of the day, night and seasons. It is the viewfinder of these cameras that Jolana HavelkovŠ tries to get to and then subsequently appropriate the images. The resulting photographic images, which the author composes into vertical strips consisting of hundreds of tiny images, are extremely visually impressive. From a distance, they seem to be an abstract play of colors, lights and shadows, but with a closer look, it is possible to distinguish in the mosaic specific locations (with or without people) as well as the author herself.

Through a modified recording that systematically captures a selected place for twenty-four hours, Jolana HavelkovŠ creates a visual structure. However, she is more interested in its personal and political dimensions: how our existence can become public "property" and how monitoring can be abused. Additionally, she is interested in the technical defects of the system and in the conditions that disturb the perfection of the recording and its usage - such as changes in the weather. She reverses the very essence of the hidden camera; instead of these ubiquitous "eyes" watching us unnoticed and disturbing our right to privacy, they are being watched. The images stored in their digital memory are appropriated and recreated in order to undercut their domination and sovereignty. Similar to other time-lapse film documentaries, the photographs from the Sensitive Data collection, which have been coming into existence for several years (since 2010), oscillate between factual documentary, landscape and urban photography, and experimental self-portrait. The exhibition consists of works from the years 2012-2018.

Martina PachmanovŠ