Official Ornament is a series of artworks that relate to the film We Love Life (2022), a documentary about the biggest mass gymnastic displays in history - the Spartakiads in communist Czechoslovakia. After each Spartakiad a commemorative book was published, consisting of photographs documenting and celebrating the event - a joyful unity between the masses and the state, expressed through ornaments made up of hundreds of thousands of bodies.
Apart of the aerial shots of the performing masses, the commemorative books’ photographs were predominantly close-ups and portraits of young women and girls in leotards, striking poses from their exercise routines. The young women and girls also featured on every single cover of the books, entirely upstaging the other sex and age categories, but also the mass ornaments they were in fact a part of.
Official Ornament is a series of collages made from the books’ original photographs. In them, the faces of the women and girls interact with cutouts taken from the technical drawings that were used to plan the mass choreographies. The work engages with the contradictions inherent in the representation of the Spartakiads; the young women and girls served on one hand as components of the faceless masses, but were at the same time used as a titillating subject to make the propaganda event more attractive and popular.
Jana, 2023, collage, 25.3 x 18.7 cm
Anežka, 2023, collage, 29.9 x 15.4 cm
Lenka, 2023, collage, 25.3 x 18.7 cm
Kolektiv # 1, 2023, collage, 21.8 x 26.8 cm
Kolektiv # 2, 2023, collage, 21.8 x 26.8 cm
Kolektiv # 3, 2023, collage, 21.8 x 26.8 cm
Ivana, 2023, collage, 18.7 x 18.7 cm
Dita, 2023, collage, 23 x 23 cm
Petra, 2023, collage, 18.7 x 18.7 cm