/ Boris Németh / Photo story

Slovakia I’m Lovin It

If you were to ask Boris Németh how many kilometres he had to travel to produce the twenty photographs for his exhibition Slovakia I’m loving it, he would answer: more than 100 000 for sure. This is above all because the project’s first photographs date from the early 21st century, when Slovakia was in the process of dealing with a historic turning point – declaring the separation from the Czech Republic in 1993 – followed by the equally fundamental decision to join the European Union eleven years later. Its identity is up in the air. Who are we? Where do we belong? What is important to us?

Slovakia I’m loving it is an ironic/sarcastic commentary on the euphoria caused by overwhelming capitalist consumerism after decades of state-imposed restraint or even poverty. Németh chooses the paradox as the key to understanding his theme.

It makes no difference whether the images are from Bratislava or an almost anonymous remote village in Eastern Slovakia. It doesn’t matter either whether his photos were taken in an election year with one or the other political party winning. Neither does it matter whether this or that nuclear power plant was completed. In his images, the identity of Slovakia is formed by a mosaic of contradictions, but they all have one thing in common: vitality. It feels as if everything that Boris Németh discovers in Slovakia conceals the conviction that the end shall never come. This exploration of the depth of the Slovakian soul provides a kind of visual magic, a sort of wizardry drawing its power from ambiguity.

Václav Macek, curator

Boris Németh (1979) is a photographer from Šaľa, Slovakia. He studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. He has worked at .týždeň magazine as a photojournalist since 2006, while exhibiting in Slovakia and abroad. In addition to winning several photography awards, he is represented in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery, Central European House of Photography Bratislava and the VÚB Foundation.