Markéta Kinterová, “What You See Is What You Think”

Markéta Kinterová
Prague 10, Czech Republic

What You See Is What You Think
10 x 14 x 0.4″

Artist Statement

The publication is based on the author’s original book, completed as one piece of work of art and created by taking down a 5 × 2,5m Euro format billboard, unfolding it and binding it into a book. The reproduction of the billboard book serves as a platform that refutes some rules of the traditional concept of reading of a book with pictures. It is also a form of annexes with text that offer a look into the alternative reading of public space.

How do we see the cityscape and its periphery? Can we read these as a composition of volumes pasted over with brand labels and messages? The appearance of our cities is a mirror image of the state of our culture. People read and interpret the city based on a form of text written by the private sector and the state. What does our urban public space tell us? The present artist book responds to visual strategies deployed in public space with the intention to consolidate and entrench a repressive system of control, turning citizens into consumers.

“Most advertisements are conceived like commercial magazine layouts. Walking through a city on foot is akin to walking through a giant magazine. I nd a similarity between the experience of urban space and the print medium. The sheer scale of the individual advertising boards and degree of visual smog impacts my orientation in the urban environment, and I look for ways to test strategies of conveying this visually. I may not take the optimum route, and instead choose the path of the completely utopian: to carefully unpeel one billboard, whole and undamaged, under conditions of ideal humidity, when the glue and paper will allow for such operations, and at the same time have it remain in one piece. Then size that format down to a human-scale that can be handled as a book…“ (an excerpt from the book)

Description of the Work

The artist’s book “What You See Is What You Think” combines photographic, artistic and research based approaches. The author discusses the dystopia of post-capitalism by means of experiments with the book, the billboard format and the selection of images. Theoretical text reflects today’s experience with public space. The book is published as the creative part of the doctoral thesis Oppositional Reading of Public Space, undertaken at the Academy of Art and Design in Prague.

Concept, Texts, Images: Markéta Kinterová, Published by: AMU Press, the Publishing House of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (NAMU), 2020. Printrun: 300 copies.


Markéta Kinterová (*1981) focuses on conceptual photography, oftentimes overlapping into public space. She studied photography at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic. The author’s book is published as the artistic part of the doctoral thesis Oppositional Reading of Public Space, which she defended last year at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. She has been the head of the Documentary Photography Studio at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) since 2016. She has taken part in several independent and group exhibitions. She is the editor-in-chief of the Fotograf magazine and the executive director of the Fotograf Festival in Prague.