- Self published, 2011
- Softcover in coloured card fold out sleeve
- Signed, with original numbered print
- Several cover colours and prints available
Markéta Luskačová’s On Death and Horses and Other People is a labor of love, an exploration of ritual, an expression of friendship and a testament to patience and perseverance. Luskačová began to photograph Czech Carnival in 1999. Since then she has photographed more than 40 carnivals in Bohemian cities, towns and villages. This exhibition is comprised entirely from the photographs made as the carnival people of Roztoky, a small town near Prague, walked across ﬁelds and over Bare Hill to the neighbouring village of Unětice.
Made over a 12-year span, Luskačová’s photographs reveal as much about the artist as they do about her subjects. Trained as a sociologist, it is not surprising that her images are imbued with a special understanding of the people and the rituals she has photographed. Her work is not just a documentation of ritual, but also a sensitive and insightful interpretation of time-honoured traditions adapted for contemporary life in Bohemia, where free expression was very difficult in the recent past.
For Luskačová, Czech Carnival represented ”the renaissance of the old customs in the early years of democracy, the joy that it was now allowed, my private joy to hear the old songs, which I was missing.” She has described this new body of work as ”a return home in a photographic sense, almost a full circle,” where procession figures prominently, as it did in Pilgrims, made 40 years ago. Many of the colour photographs were made in that magical short space of time, as the warmth of the late afternoon sun gives way to the coldness of the crisp, late winter night. These photographs represent new aesthetic terrain, while the black and white prints may be seen as a continuation of the aesthetic for which she is known. It is especially lovely to see the transformation that takes place as Luskačová visually dances between her comfortable black and white aesthetic and her new color world; where darkness is eclipsed by colour, light and joy, where carnival is seen not only as a return to ritual, but as an affirmation of life itself.