FRAGMENTS OF A TOTALITARIAN DISCOURSE
2017 - 2019
Graphite on paper, and photocopies
This series consists of various documents and letters from former communist Czechoslovakia. These letters are traced in official records, among others in “Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů (ÚSTR)»/ (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes). He is particularly interested in documents that have a direct connection with totalitarian practices of repression, propaganda, and the typical.
One of the main axes of autocratic governments is propaganda, the model of “the typical” in the propaganda of a regime is an essential part of ideological discourse, this model of the typical synthesizes, not empirical reality, but the idealization and sublimation of a regime’s values. Therefore, for such propaganda to be effective, it is necessary to repress those who stray from its strictly defined limits.
I intervene with the traced documents: cutting, scratching, crossing out, drawing on their surface, nullifying neutral parts of the text, and pointing and highlighting fragments loaded with ideology.
One of the letters I retrieve is written by elementary school children, schoolchildren are accusing Milada Horáková of being a traitor to the nation and are calling for her death. Milada Horáková, a former communist supporter, made her party uncomfortable and was sentenced to death for treason. The children, from their innocent gaze, are reaffirming and in a certain way justifying the official decision already established.