by Tomáš Pospiszyl
Marketa Othova takes pictures of what she sees – nothing is staged or manipulated. Her way of capturing a moment with her camera can remind us of a diary, as if a hidden camera had documented someone’s private life, creating images that are simultaneously intimate and impenetrable to the outsider. As with every diary description, we see how the simple fact of seeing can be emotional. We see that these shots of ordinary objects can hold information, atmosphere, even a sense of humor. But if we try to look at these photographs without allowing ourselves to get emotionally involved, if we try to see these captured objects and scenes without attributing moods and characters to them, then we may also see how cool and rigid they are in their composition.
Othova is interested not so much in documenting the world around her as in the potential of photography to tell a story, to constitute a language of fiction. Although she is a photographer, she might find it difficult to show you a portfolio of images she has taken; she can much more easily show you photographs of her exhibitions, show you what she has done with groups of photographs. A single shot, even if beautiful by itself, is for Othova the basic material from which she builds her work. What we see in every photograph is true and captures reality as it existed at some particular moment, but her work involves not only taking these pictures but putting them in series, treating them as words in a sentence. Every photograph influences every other photograph. As our minds try to connect disparate images, and to find hidden connections between them, each becomes an argument for the other, and the presence of the third and the forth makes the web even more complex. Without our even noticing it, a story is born. But it is far from being some sort of linear comic strip – the language is purely visual. We cannot say, in words, exactly what we feel.
Excerpt from Realized projects 1994-2001, 2001