© 2020 Juraj Starovecký

The Curtain

2015 | archival ink-jet print on dibond and aluminium, gunshot | various formats | 10 photographs

282 people and at least 584 border guard soldiers were killed while trying to cross the state border via so called the Iron Curtain between 1948 – 1989 in former Czechoslovakia. The purpose of this apparatus of absolute power was to kill and terrorize trespassers and to preserve fear inside an omnipotent political system, which had been denying basic human rights and freedom for 40 years. The contemporary status of social awareness about this significant problem of the past era is alarming. Instead of facing our own past and dealing with its traumas, collective amnesia is manifesting. In my project, I’m referring to this traumatizing past of the Iron Curtain of totalitarian Czechoslovakia. However, I’m not simply naming the facts, statistics and mediated stories. Neither am I trying to grasp the whole oppressive problem of the era that I haven’t experienced. Set into an authentic places of a border zone I’m simulating, reconstructing, projecting and paraphrasing points and moments from the construct of the Iron Courtain. I’m recurring to the past by focusing on details, reading it slowly and consistently in an effort to articulate what stroke me the most. Appealing to revision of collective conscience, I’m trying to zoom in our totalitarian history to arouse interest of generation which haven’t experienced this regime, by a contemporary artistic language through the medium of photography.