Zimní sklizeň 2021

Virtuální výstava klauzurních prací studentů Fakulty umění a designu (FUD)
Univerzity Jana Evangelisty Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem (UJEP)

Fine Art – Photography

Nikol Válková

2. BcA.

Islanders

video, 2:00 min

My room is my island, actually my lonely island. Here is the presence of the raising pressure of the isolation, being closed in my room and t he lack of opportunity to go out. An island is a piece of land surrounded by water from everywhere. Water is the only connection to the rest of the world, but water is also the thing that stops you and prevents you from reaching the outside world. An islender in my mind is a person who is disconnected from the rest of the world, stuck on a lonely island. During my Erasmus I found my lonely island or my lonely island found me. I did not have a choice but to become an islander on my own lonely island – my dormitory room. My room is my safe place, the walls protect me from the cold, snow… But my room became my prison. The walls are necessary to protect me, but home is when you can freely go out and in, whenever you need to. The current situation with the virus put me on my lonely island, unable to go out of the room. I was waiting in anticipation day after day, asking myself when it will be over, when I will be able to go out again? But day after day the levels of anticipation, stress, anxiety and eagerness were rising just like the water on my island was rising fast in connection with my inner world. The escape was impossible and the pressure was growing. Finding the way to deal with it, to accept it and start enjoying that island was’t easy. To calm down even when the water is rising and no emergency exit is available. My room became my lonely island and I knew I was not the only one. Many other people are dealing with the same situation, the same rising tension, asking the question “When it would be over” That dormitory room represents all the other rooms around the globe that suddenly transformed into lonely islands. The idea of the water filling in the room recreates the strong feeling of pressure that people feel while stuck on the island. The water is there, but you can not physically see it, you can hear it. I try to find a higher point far away from it, but it is impossible. My actions in the room shows me just wondering in the room, trying to cope with the situation, trying to stay calm. Maybe even finding some peace with it.

When I close my eye

photobook

When I close my eyes the distance disappears. We are all separated. I am here and there, going to different places whenI close my eyes, I am dreaming of visiting them. The physical distance between people is very important, especially when we are far from the people we want to be closest to. Family is love, support, a shoulder on which to lean your head, to laugh, to cry. People with whom you share the moments of life day after day. You want to hug and kiss them, to show them how important they are to you.But the distance, the distance between us and our loved ones is a reality. We are far from each other because we are trying to protect them – them and their health. We are far away because we have set out to pursue dreams and pursue them in other countries or on other continents, or because we have to make a living and help our loved ones who need it.

There are countless reasons to be away from our loved ones, partly because we wanted and partly because we were forced under certain circumstances. In the current situation, people are in the position to decide not to visit their parents and relatives because it is important to protect them. Health comes first, even if it means not seeing them for a whole year. But loneliness and sadness arise. These people are our family and despite the situation that we are far from them, we must find a way to continue to be a family and to be close, even though we are thousands of kilometers away from each other. We are together to share all the moments with them and hug and kiss them virtually.

In the photobook I want to show just that - the distance we are forced to observe and how, although we are far from each other, this does not prevent us from being truly together and sharing everything - through the screens of phones and computers. The screens of our devices are the windows through which we look and we look forward to seeing those favorite eyes, smiles, faces… The story goes through reality, showing my reality with the objects, notes and personal belongings that are scattered around the screen of the laptop. My image appears not only through the things but also in the photos themselves in the small window. On one side of the screen I am with a camera in my hands and on the other my family. They are fully aware that I photograph them and sometimes they are even a little shy. At some point, they get used to it and continue to do their daily tasks.

They can control what photos I am taking by deciding what to show me while holding their devices. To show the distance in the book, I used the white blank space between the photos and the written km showing the exact distance between us.