2016 - Ongoing
June is a body of work, which unfolded as an autobiographical response to the EU referendum. Since then it grew to become an all-encompassing chronicle through which the photographs emerge as not only a record of daily events, but also a timeline of significant dates that will, or have already become, marker points in history. Taken in various locations across Britain and Europe, each image is titled simply by the location and date in which it is made, the significance of which becomes apparent when read on mass.
When I started working on June I was first looking for symbols. It started as an impulse to respond and make sense of the deeply upsetting and precarious situation. I knew that the vote would leave an indelible mark on my practice due to the diaristic nature of my work. And whilst going through the process I recognized the essence of my artistic imprint, which lies in my desire to not divide between aspects of my personal life, artistic practice and commissioned work. They all permeate and inform each other. So in fact, in the year that so many things ruptured, embracing entirety became a gesture of resistance.
Then, in March 2018, there was the biggest public outcry in my native Slovakia since the fall of communism in 1989. After a murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancé, public occupied the streets, protesting week after week against the unjust and indecent actions of our government threatening one of the main pillars of democracy – the freedom of speech. The events of that spring made me realize that the work is not only about Brexit as such; it is about the shifts in Europe and about what Europe means to me.
I realized that Europe as an entity isn’t just an idea. It is a heritage. At the time of writing this, and despite the erosion of the now almost three years, it is also still my day-to-day ground. So the loss at stake now is for me constituted in a loss of certainty and stability of the reality I took for granted. Through my work I still attempt to bring back a semblance of stability and to give myself some answers, which are not coming from the people at power. The foundations that I created through June help me to bypass restrictions of any given style, genre, or aesthetics. It is a flow.
The core of the work became an artist book, in which the work has been translated into booklets (each representing one month) collated together with an opening ring – a metaphor for the easily breakable union, where the beginning and the end can be easily manipulated and the linearity of historical events shifted. Each and every booklet / month have their own message and strength, theme and place, but when viewed together they give away the whole story.
Even though the photographs often capture intimate and private moments, the work becomes a vessel for communicating larger ideas and messages. June is a clear evidence of that, where the personal is inseparable from the social and the political. It became an organic and natural way for me to express the fact that the work is still evolving and growing, taking turns and unexpected shifts, just like the reality of what it comment on does.