Slovakia-born Mária Švarbová (b. 1988) completed her studies in conservation, restoration and archaeology before dedicating herself to photography in 2010. Since then her photographs have focused on minimalism and purity, conveying emotional messages embedded within compositions. Images from The Tribune, SWIMM, No Diving and SWIMMING POOL feature places of recreation and leisure with unsettling emptiness and static sentiments. Still water and transfixed bodies are colour-coordinated, as if manufactured. Vintage costumes mirror red warning signs plastered onto the glossy tiled walls, which, combined with figures held mid-motion, create disconcerting images filled with an eerie despondence. This seeming state of limbo is further exaggerated by pool-goers’ reflections in the water; their well-practised poses are devoid of sensation or human response. This chilling group of works turns familiar places of enjoyment into tonal desolation. www.mariasvarbova.com.
E.O. Hoppé’s provides meditations on shifting ideals, revelling in the structural complexity and cultural acceleration that was unravelling in Germany.
The analogue is increasingly marginalised in a digital climate that sees images everywhere; in this context the value of art photography is constantly questioned.