Fotograf Contemporary is pleased to present Marie Tomanova’s first solo exhibition at Fotograf Gallery

Marie Tomanova_Shorty_2023


Artist: Marie Tomanova

Exhibition: 5 East Broadway

Location: Fotograf Gallery

On View: November 17, 2023 – December 16, 2023

Opening: Thursday, November 16, 6 PM

"When the image is new, the world is new"
-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


Curated by Thomas Beachdel


Fotograf Contemporary is pleased to present Marie Tomanova’s first solo exhibition at Fotograf Gallery. Titled 5 East Broadway, it features an entirely new body of work by the artist. The exhibition combines for the first-time color, black and white photography, and short films to present a nuanced and multi-faceted vision of powerful individuality. Between February and May 2023, Tomanova rented a 3.5 by 3.5 meter studio located at 5 East Broadway—literally, a small, crowded room—on the fourth floor of a New York City walk-up building and invited dozens of youth to come and tell her their dreams, to dance, to take photographs, and to film


5 East Broadway is a specific, precise, focused, and yet expansive project. It is deep with perception and feeling. Within the space of this single address in the heart of NYC’s dense and vibrant Chinatown neighborhood, Tomanova creates an intense condenser—a crystallization—of youth experience. Geographically limiting her project 5 East Broadway to only this place—entrance, stairway, hallway, small studio and the roof—allows Tomanova to focus on a certain sense of interiority against the backdrop of the city itself and all of the dreams that have collected to bring people to this city, this place. 5 East Broadway is both portraits of others and a self-portrait of Tomanova herself, having been drawn to New York City, or having lived here, in a remarkably similar way as the subjects in the photographs. This tension between portrait and self-portrait is something perhaps hinted at in Self Portrait (Shadow) (2023), in which Tomanova’s shadow occupies a place on the roof almost overlapping that which is occupied by Kaia in the portrait Kaia (2023), and perhaps even more obliquely in the abstract Untitled (2023), in which binaries are dissolved in a fiery line eroding clear demarcations or divisions.


In a process that interweaves taking photographs with filming conversations about hopes and dreams and experiences, Tomanova collaborates with her subjects to reveal a certain presence, investigating the idea of what it means to represent a person, of what is a portrait. The resulting photographs and new short films are direct and forthright, displaying the hallmarks of her earlier Young American and New York New York projects but infused with a depth that comes from time. There is a longitudinal aspect of this project. While Tomanova has invited people she hasn’t yet worked with—Laura, Toni, Shorty, Simone, Kayra, Elizabeth—there are many that she has been photographing for years —Atticus, Seashell, Natalie, Isabel, Doe, Makenna—since 2016 in some cases. At 5 East Broadway, Tomanova creates a portrait of youth as a part of her larger body of work that attests to her ongoing consideration of what it means to depict individuality and identity, her own and that of others.


About the Artist

Czech-born Marie Tomanova grew up in a South Moravian border town, Mikulov. After receiving a painting MFA she left to United States. Turning to photography displacement, identity, gender, and memory became key themes in her work. Tomanova has had solo shows worldwide including in New York City, Prague, Tokyo, and Paris; her work has been exhibited in Berlin for the European Month of Photography 2020 Biennial, and at the Rencontres d’Arles in France as part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2021 and where it was selected to travel to the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival in Xiamen, China in 2021. Tomanova is currently preparing several upcoming exhibitions to coincide with the 2024 release of a feature length HBO documentary on her trajectory as an artist, World Between Us. Tomanova's first book, Young American (Paradigm Publishing, 2019), focuses on individuality, identity, and belonging in the American social landscape. It features a foreword by acclaimed photographer Ryan McGinley and sold out shortly after its publication. Deftly entwining portraiture and landscape to recontextualize and expand the meaning of each, Tomanova published, with art historian Thomas Beachdel, her second book, New York New York (Hatje Cantz, 2021), with foreword by Kim Gordon. Her third book, It Was Once My Universe, with foreword by Lucy Sante, was published by SuperLabo, Japan in fall 2022. It is a deeply personal project about her return home to the Czech Republic after 8 years in exile as an immigrant living in the United States. Tomanova currently lives and works in NYC. She is represented by C24 Gallery in the United States and the Republic of Turkey and by Stieglitz19 in Belgium and The Netherlands, and now also by Fotograf Contemporary in the Czech Republic.

Markéta Kinterová – kurátorka, umělecká ředitelka, šéfredaktorka, odbornice na fotografii, konzultantka
Markéta Kinterová
Markéta Kinterová is curator of Fotograf Contemporary, editor-in-chief of the Fotograf magazine, director of the association under the same title, artist and lecturer at the Department of Photography (FAMU) in Prague.
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