Pavel Maria Smejkal’s Famous Photographs Devoid Of Main Subjects

Pavel Maria Smejkal lives and works in Slovakia. From 2009 to 2011 he created a series entitled Fatescapes in which the main subjects are removed from famous photographs and iconic images. What remains is the often eerie landscape in which the event unfolded. From Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima to Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston, these strange images are inherently important and memorable even though the central focus has shifted. In his own words: “In Fatescapes, I remove (using a classic tool of digital work today Adobe Photoshop) the central motifs from historical documentary photographs and the main subject of these motifs, human bodies. I use images that have become our cultural heritage, constitute the memory of nations, serve as symbols or tools of propaganda, and exemplify a specific approach to photography as a document of the historical moment. I explore their purpose and function, and I ask about the future of this magic medium, and about human existence. Aware that their authenticity is not unquestionable, I return to these key images after they have been reinterpreted numerous times from various perspectives, and by manipulating their content I explore their purpose, function, and future.” (via)


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