Mária Švarbová: Human and Space

Dedicated to photography since 2010, Mária Švarbová highlights the arresting equilibrium and extraordinary way human and space complete and influence each other, without the possibility of existing independently, only as one.

However, the minimalist aesthetics of the socialist architectural structures and interiors the artist uses as her scenery, the purity of execution in contrast to the dark approach of her narratives, the pale tones alternating with gently blurred interventions to create a certain perception of time, the unsettling stillness, the clean yet distant presence of life in mute, carefully constructed and arranged environments, where every gesture seems fully controlled and nothing is left to chance, erase any traces of emotion, replaced with the feeling of humans turned into powerless figurines, bearers of a sterile spirit, that one can easily manipulate to suit and please personal interests and desires.

In some cases, the situations shown in the photographs, of familiar and often recurrent activities – dining, swimming, a visit to the doctor – give them a strikingly mundane aspect, although the lack of motion and sentiment generates a disruption, detaching the viewer from the real world to experience the absolute void, the silent scream, the overwhelming loneliness within the group and the self as well, the sense of loss and alienation defining the characters, to ironically evoke a haunting vision of a potential future.

Mária Švarbová - Human Space series

Part of ‘Human Space’ series / Photographer: Mária Švarbová; Costume: Zuzana Hudakova.

MáriaŠvarbová - In Swimming Pool series

Part of ‘In Swimming Pool’ series / Art direction: Mária Švarbová; Concept, costumes: Mária Švarbová and Laura Storcelova.

MáriaŠvarbová - The Dining Room series

Part of ‘The Dining Room’ series / Art direction: Mária Švarbová; Costume, scene: Zuzana Hudakova, Mária Švarbová; Make-up and hair: Zuzana Puchrikova; Assistants: Martin Hakar, Martina Kacerova.

MáriaŠvarbová - The Doctor series

Part of ‘The Doctor’ series / Photographer and art direction: Mária Švarbová; Concept, costume: Mária Švarbová, Laura Storcelova; Hair and make-up: Jarka Vladyka; Assistant: Yehuda Gabriel.

MáriaŠvarbová - Alone series

Part of ‘Alone’ series / Art direction: Mária Švarbová; Scene, costume: Zuzana Hudakova; Make-up, hair: Jarka Vladyka.

MáriaŠvarbová - Hide and Seek series

Part of ‘Hide and Seek’ series / Photographer, art direction: Mária Švarbová; Costume, scene: Zuzana Hudakova.

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Images © Mária Švarbová

Find out more on her website, on Facebook, Behance and Instagram.