Jolana Havelková is a contemporary Czech photographer, filmmaker, curator and university lecturer. She graduated from the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava. In the years 1999–2008 she lectured at the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Univerzity of J. E. Purkyne in Ústí nad Labem (Studio of Applied Photography and Studio of Digital Media).
Her work is focused on conceptual photography, deals with minor interventions into the environment (site-specific art). She is involved in the mail-art, experimental and musical projects, on which cooperates with artists of different disciplines. She invited composer and musician Lucie Vítková to participate in the acoustic-visual project entitled Proposal to change the score.
Jolana Havelková had individual exhibitions in different places; her works are often selected for various joint exhibition of contemporary art (e.g. Czech Photo of 20th century, Czech Contemporary Landscape or Photogenic Identity, The Intimate Circle). As a filmmaker she collaborated on documentaries Photographer František Drtikol and World and Image about Tomáš Špidlík. Since 1993, co-organizes Photographic festival Funke´s Kolín.
She prepared series of exhibitions in the field of photography and contemporary art (Status Nascendi, Bedrich Grünzweig and others). The Kant publisher house published her book of photographs named Kolín with essays by Josef Škvorecký and the book The Illusionist´s Love Affairs, illustrated by her images.
In this ensemble Jolana Havelkova thinks of the circumstances under which people attach great importance to inanimate things or even attribute to them human or animal features. Sometimes the objects become prove of mutual relations, or represent their substitution. They may present satisfaction of accomplishment of a variety of relationships and links, may become a memory, or in extreme cases, the addiction to themselves. Some things, such as used clothing, contain even further fetishistic dimension, to which is attributed a special power and to which is subsequently attracted the human mind.
In 2002 Jolana Havelkova began to create an overview of their child's clothing. She perceived how those little things full of symbols and colors used to arouse unusual human sentiment and even emotion of the people. From the imprints of the clothes the author creates objects that resemble various plants and animals, microorganisms, mysterious creatures. They are beautiful, enigmatic and sometimes even overall frightening. . Ambivalent relationship to these objects also implies existential dimension - the sadness of the flowing time, memories of joyful season. We actually suspect in them certain exaggeration and sense of humor.
Jolana Havelková is interested in the landscape as building blocks, landscape as an abstract painting, as a configuration of the relatively limited number of pixels available in the camera of mobile phone. And she is interested in precisely the seductive doubt which distinguishes the human brain from machines and nostalgia from history.
The Elbe lowlands in winter, with their horizontal monotony, are an ideal subject for this kind of photography. The single, ever-repeating line of the horizon, dividing the picture into familiar proportions of the earth and sky, allows the suggestion of building formations and distant tree lines to grow on itself. The image is reduced to a bare minimum but it still works as well as a Chittussi’s watch. Is this the same with us? Are not rather the images inside ourselves, waiting just for the right stimuli to trigger them?
Photographic cycle entitled Temporary meetings (1999–2002) presents human faces. However, these photographs are not portraits in the traditional meaning. Jolana Havelkova creates enigmatically misty shapes from realistic images by defocusing and other interventions in the dark chamber. The resemblance of its patterns is only distant. Details disappeared from the faces as well as other items that are important for identification. Different aspects of metamorphosis and identity are considered in these works. Havelkova also refers to Freud’s treatise on the mechanisms of dream work. She aims at a certain grinding of the surface; at a dream condensation creating summarized personae, where traits belonging to different figures are combined in one image, which could be mistaken for another…
Jolana Havelková, Kolín, Tschechien, Mai 2004