Petr Lysácek

*1961 in Ostrava (CZ)

Ein kriminelles Stück

Petr Lysácek, Ein kriminelles Stück, 1992, sheet metal, iron, photography, wood, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen, loan of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, © Petr Lysácek, photo: Simon Vogel

Large black and white photographs are mounted behind metal plates. Who are these women and what is the title of the series about? Petr Lysácek is showing us Jana, Karla and Lena. The peculiarity: All three have tattoos, which was quite uncommon and socially unaccepted in the Czech Republic during the time the work was created. Rather, it alludes to characteristic features of prisoners. So, does Ein kriminelles Stück show us actual criminals? The motif of the tattoos is stamped onto an iron plate. It is thus not only immortalized on the skin but also put in a space and transformed into a work of art. These women – each of whom has a completely different effect – do not reveal anything about themselves, the image itself does not show what could have brought them here. These are not the usual police photos, and the tattooed part of the body remains hidden. The tattoo is thus something very private that Lysácek shows us; it is the only clue to the personality of the women portrayed.