FOTOGRAF 39 ENG

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The ongoing pandemic has provided a framework for the development of broad societal debate on the necessity of mutual closeness in distance, solidarity and new systems of organization. A crucial role is played by the decision to depart from the monothematic focus of the individual editions of the magazine, replacing it with a rhizomatic structure of a processual mental map circling the terms chaos & jouissance under the title: „Delight, pain.“ The Issue focuses on themes of mental health, identity politics, queerness, gaming, solidarity and the imaginary reconstruction and renewal of grand narratives. All the themes are interconnected by the globally experienced pandemic situation. This, however, is not a thematic framework but merely an inseparable condition of any activity currently taking place.

We feel like revising our relationships. This time, relationships between people. Relationships between genders whose borders are not as firm as we might have thought until recently – instead, they are entirely permeable. Society responds to non-binary or transformative identities in various ways: with sexism, vehement exclusion, hidden exclusion, glass ceilings or attempts at inclusion. The proportion of these forces is constantly developing and changing and we decided to focus on them, and not alone. We opted for an experiment, and invited, as guest editors, the collective of the studio of New Aesthetics at the Department of Photography at FAMU, Prague: Nikol Czuczorová, Nikolaj Jessen, Andrej Kiripolský, Zuzana-Markéta Macková, Tobias Páral, Ezra Šimek, Leevi Toija, Max Vajt and Hynek Alt with Jen Kratochvil. This collaboration broadened our perspective to include the age group of those currently studying. Together, we arrived not only at the result of the printed issue but also at a new form of digital content – a series of podcasts and videos. Our guests helped sensitize and materialize the themes depicted on the mental map they created when conceiving the issue, lobbying for a revision of our established perception of the selected aggregate that forms the backbone of the magazine’s content: pleasure, pain, chaos, jouissance, anxiety, responsibility, orgasm, non-binary language, activism, perversion, social experiment. The chain of association can continue as you browse the pages of the magazine or listen to the podcasts, whose considerable ambition is to use the spoken word to discuss visual art. It will be delight accompanied by pain – otherwise it would not be delight at all.