StartPoint Prize 2016

Deana Kolenčíková

Deana Kolenčíková is a photographer whose creative methods have for some time focused not solely on the medium of photography, instead forming part of broader conceptual thought. Her interests lie mainly with topical social issues, which she tackles both critically and with humor. This also applies to her diploma work Study in Health and Safety Rules, an installation, or artificial environment, featuring a tent with a projection and photographs modified into the form of various objects, with a creative method applied in keeping with the overall approach to the issues reflected. The main issue is in fact the international but locally differentiated system of “health ’n’ safety rules”, which is directly related to the political and social structure of each country that generates restrictions and barriers “in the name of safety”. The health and safety products of the system are quickly adopted by the commercial sector, the target group being mainly children and senior citizens. Some of them have gained the status of becoming almost “popular classics”, as they become everyday staples of fashion, toys, and home décor… Seemingly in connection with this, the artist also focuses on finer nuances, such as the color affinities of various safety features with the situations in which they operate, accentuating certain pseudo-signifiers, developing these into metaphors ad absurdum. These visual qualities, among other things, take the photographic objects in the installation to new levels of meaning.