Mirrors of desire and subjection                                                                            Christina Wendenburg

In her photograms, Eliška Bartek opens a both critical and sensuous artistic dialogue with the erotic objects and toys that she arranges surrealistically. Her approach can be compared to a banning ritual: by visually exhausting moral and ethical thresholds, she provokes escalation between violence and lust, intimidation and desire, sexual subjection and emancipation. 

The aesthetics of her symbolism are narrative as well as vivid in their presentation of objects. Most aesthetically arranged in fragile conjunctions, Asian love ballsor dildos appear like relics of sexual pleasure on a demonic family altar. They symbolize the magnetic attraction of the sexes, yet they are also fetishized substitutes for the sexual other. Presented in cross-faded negatives, these images gain the quality of indiscreet x-rays. They seem like subversive inner display windows of provocation or peep boxes of erotic fantasies and obsession. In an almost ritual synthesis of everyday-life and cultism, these objects imitate a ceremonial sacrifice, which is performed on a surreal family altar of desire.

Wendenburg, Christina. 'Mirrors of desire and subjection'. Stille. Eliška Bartek. Eliška Bartek. 1st ed. Berlin: Photo Edition Berlin, 2009

Text: Mirrors of desire and subjection. Christina Wendenburg
Mirrors of desire and subjection_ C. Wen
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