Virtual Acquaintance (2009)

Recently psychologists noticed increase of the interest to the Internet acquaintance among elderly people. It is connected with gradual “familiarization” of the web by people of this age. Not long time ago for those people it was a problem to register at acquaintance web resource, gain an e-mail box and just surf the Web.

Internet-acquaintance for aged people does not always means searching of a «second half», quite often it is a wish to find someone with similar interests: weekend walking in a park, visiting galleries, learning foreign language and so on). Deficiency of relations is very pronounced for people who get into unusual live style: oldage pension, lost of husband/wife, change of place of leaving (change of country).

According to unwritten rules of the good form, in Europe it is indecently to become acquainted in cafe, cinema or in a street. Those attempts contrary to social moral norms. Majority of existent couples find each other at work or same residence. For others lonely people there is only one mean of communication left – Internet. That is why almost every European leave his form on the acquaintance web-resource just for any case…

People presented in this project are looking for their second half in the Internet. Due to different reasons they leave in Prague (Czech Republic). Visual image of imaginative ideal partner of every participant of the project was depicted by authors (according to their wishes). Painting on the 6×7 cm original film was used for that (“photopainting”).
Method of painting on film is in principle consonant to postprocessed digital image, being at the same time more real (and even mysterious) montage of desired object image. Montage questions noem of photography (R. Barthes), forcing being to think – was real at all? Manipulation with film akin to rituals of old producing magic, – maybe, having painted something, we help it to become true.

Roughly painted, semiabstract spot-like-faces of “promised” become a visual cliche of desired partner qualities – beautiful, kind, not greedy, clever. But how one can for certain paint “clever, not greedy”? After all, appearance of the partner, according to majority of participants, is not important. Yet this painting akin to primeval rock paintings – human psychology has not changed (paint a deer before a hunt).

Colours in a complex nature of the photograph become semantic elements of environment. Colourness reach the very living tissue of the photograph, compensating shortage of human existence brilliance, braking closeness of dull intimate space, visualizing the desired. Candour of colour is commensurable with candour of participants – in that case we do not deal with colour anymore, but with emotions, wishes and hopes, which were restrained for a long time. After all when feelings are being restrained for a long time, at some point their sudden increase is observed. Subjective viewer’s perception is important then: for some bright concentrated colour is vulgar, for others – their openness, purity, candour is important. Not everyone will bring himself to tell his/her dream – everyone knows: spoken dream will not come true…