Jozef Sedlák
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Conscription 1980-1981

The Conscription cycle shows an inspection of conscripts before the compulsory military service. Naked conscripts are examined by the recruiting board comprised of representatives from all parts of the government. The obligatory slogan of "the most honorable of duties", the soviet flag, the portrait of a statesman and state symbol are an inseparable part of the bizarre ritual. The panopticon feeling is amplified by participants from both sides - those who examine and those who are examined. During the atmosphere of universal mistrust and threat of the Cold War the army represented one the most taboo and least transparent state organs. Due to its image and representation, the army was scarcely any business to commoners, making the insider pictures all the more rare. In the end, nothing conveys the inner conflicts and paradoxes of the regime past more eloquently than the gender document about socialist apropriation of an individual body for higher political purpose. (Petra Hanáková)