A series of short films by 6 renowned Czech female artists selected by curator Markéta Jonášová will be screened as a part of a special program focusing on Czech video art on the anniversary 20th Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival (NEMAF). This program, which introduces a more comprehensive presentation of Czech video art for the first time in Korea, is organized in cooperation with the Czech Centre Seoul and Národní filmový archiv, Prague on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea.
The program introduces audio-visual works by well-established Czech female artists, who uses the medium of moving image to establish a direct relationship with surrounding world. Their works are characterized by an interest in structures of contemporary society. The artists relate to them by a wide range of artistic forms as performance, object installation, music or moving image. This interdisciplinary approach formed by the education gained on universities of arts (rather than film schools) is reflected in using the medium of moving image as a tool for documentation and rendering of conceptual motifs. The limitation of film media, typical for works by Milena Dopitová, Eva Jiřička, Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucie Tkáčová, is determinated not only by the limited access to recording and post-production media on the artistic scene at the turn of the millennium, but primarily by accepting starting point of performative and conceptual arts, which were officially established at Czech cultural institutions after 1989. Latest works by Eva Koťátková, Marie Lukáčová, and Anna Remešová have proved the professionalization of film techniques in visual art during last decade as well as a tendency to reassess the above-mentioned tradition of conceptual art from current theoretical view. An effort to cope with this tradition is perceptible in the artists’ interest in performative transformation of common gestures and acts with the aim to stimulate critical reflection of the environment, where these acts are usually carried out. Presented works from implicitly female and explicitly feminist point of view reassess the perspective of deep-rooted norms and structures prevailing in the private and public space of the educational and religious institutions or the world of contemporary art. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
1. Your Spell Can Make Me Well / Milena Dopitová / 2011 / 10 min.
2. How to Make a Revolution / Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová / 2006 / 3 min.
3. Morning Wash / Eva Jiřička / 2006 / 13 min.
4. Morning Cleanup / Eva Jiřička / 2006 / 3 min.
5. Milena's Song / Marie Lukáčová & Anna Remešová / 2019 / 9 min.
6. Stomach of the World / Eva Koťátková / 2017 / 46 min.
DATE AND TIME:
22.8.2020 Saturday 13:30
Cinematheque - Seoul Art Cinema (Seoul Cinema 1F, 13, Donhwamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
SEOUL INTERNATIONAL ALT CINEMA & MEDIA FESTIVAL:
ARTISTS AND WORKS INTRODUCTION:
Milena Dopitová (*1963) graduated from the Studio of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (AVU). She has taught at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and the West Bohemian University in Plzeň. In 2015, she became the Head of the Studio of Intermedia Work at AVU. She has participated in several major group exhibitions and her solo exhibitions include Milena Dopitova in Context at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, USA, Sixtysomething at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York, USA, and I Love and Accept at the City Gallery Prague, Czech Republic. Experimenting with the medium of photography, sculpture, and video, her work often explores issues of intimacy, aging, male and female identity, and the intersections of the social and natural order. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Your Spell Can Make Me Well
Milena Dopitová is among the most influential Czech female artists entering the art scene in the 1990s, whose interdisciplinary work has since gained both local and international renown. Exploring the topics of identity, ageing, and social norms, she sheds light on taboo and repressed aspects of our everyday lives that often stir controversy. Rather than being explicitly concerned with women's issues, Dopitová observes through the optics of feminine experience the world that surrounds her. Transferring these intimate observations into visual metaphors, she uses a variety of media that best fit the represented subjects. Dopitová's short video titled Your Spell Can Make Me Well captures her hands sewing together the leaves of the Christmas cactus, piercing the plant's flesh to create embroidery in the shape of three hearts. The monotone act of sewing is becoming unbearable not only for the artist but also for the viewers, who witness the unfolding of this cruel process in real-time. Similarly to other Czech conceptual artists, Dopitová uses basic recording means to document a simple performative gesture, reflecting on the profound nature of a marginalised form of handiwork. She appropriates the act of sewing, traditionally associated with female labour, and transforms it into a metaphor for a painful yet hopeful experience shared by the artist, the plant and the audience. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová
Anetta Mona Chisa (*1975) and Lucia Tkáčová (*1977) have been actively collaborating as an artistic duo since 2000. They both graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Their projects have been featured in numerous international museums and exhibitions, such as Art in General in New York, USA, n.b.k. in Berlin, DE, the 54th Venice Biennale, IT, MoCA Miami, USA, Manifesta 10, DE, ZKM – Museum fur Neue Kunst Karlsruhe, DE, and Bozar Brussels, BE. Some of their recent solo exhibitions were held at the Museumcultuur Strombeek in Gent, BE, Rotwand Gallery in Zurich, CH, and GAK in Bremen, DE. They work across a variety of media including video, performance and sculpture, often employing language and game tactics in their acts. At the heart of their collaboration lies their quest to find the means of reconciling the political with the aesthetic validity of art. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
How to Make a Revolution
Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucia Tkáčová are an internationally renowned artist duo, ceaselessly re-inventing their practice based on their search for new languages and systems of values. Encompassing sculpture, video, text and performance in their work, Chisa and Tkáčová expose and unsettle prevalent institutional structures and norms, while creating propositions of new models and orders. The performative nature of their work is related to their deployment of video as a means of recording staged situations, in which the artists often take part. In their early works, the subject of their satirical appropriation is often the art world as such, with its unspoken rules and bias. The short video titled How to Make a Revolution represents this strand of Chisa and Tkáčová's work, as it ironically articulates the steps necessary to achieve success in the Western art world. The footage captures the hands of the artist typing a text on a keyboard, visible for both the artist and viewers on a computer screen. The text outlines simple steps a female artist should follow to become established in the art scene, omitting any reference to artistic concerns. Mocking the revolutionary proclamations of contemporary artists, the work reveals the socially-conditioned value system that is underlying the operations of the art world. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Eva Jiřička (*1979) studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, and at the Akademie Bildenden Künste in Vienna, graduating in 2007. Her works have been showcased at both Czech and international festivals, such as Transmediale, DE (2013), Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, DE (2008), or Film Festival Karlovy Vary, CZ (2007). Her solo exhibitions were held at The Performance Studio, UK (2016), and etc. gallery, CZ (2013), among others. In her work, Eva Jiřička often examines the limits of public space through performative actions, documenting these actions in video. Whereas in her early projects she confronts the boundaries between the public and private, her later works explore the rules and behavioural patterns we obey in the public space. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Morning Wash & Morning Cleanup
The performative work of Eva Jiřička infiltrated the Czech art scene and public space in the first decade of the new millennium. Confronting other people in various staged situations, she explores the boundaries of private and public spaces – be in the streets, the shopping malls or in galleries. Her performative actions are not only documented on a camera but also performed for the camera, falling under a genre best described as video-performance. This approach is also characteristic of the works presented here titled Morning Wash and Morning Cleanup, shot on the streets of Prague. In the first video, we can observe the artist washing other people's cars parked on a street, one after another. A strange feeling that such action is inappropriate is reaffirmed in the second video, when the act of washing is interrupted by the arrival of a city policeman, who orders the artist to stop rinsing the cars, reasoning that she is not allowed to touch the property of other people. Challenging our preconceptions, Jiřička's simple action reveals our habituated perception of objects in terms of private property, which should be touched and taken care of only by its owners, even if placed in a public space. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Marie Lukáčová & Anna Remešová
Marie Lukáčová (*1991) and Anna Remešová (*1990) both graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague; Marie from the Department of Fine Arts and Anna from the Department of Theory and Art Criticism. Both work in the arts, Anna is the editor-in-chief of the art media platform artalk.cz, Marie is an artist and works as a teacher at FAMU in Prague. Both are feminist activists. Anna is a member of RFK, a collective of feminist Christians. Marie is one of the founders of the Fourth Wave, a feminist group that initiated a debate on sexism in public space. Marie and Anna's engagement with contemporary feminist thought is reflected in their first joint project titled Milena's song. It won the Experimental Section at the Jihlava Documentary Festival in 2019 and has since been showcased at several Czech and international venues. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
The work of Marie Lukáčová represents a generation of young artists, whose practice responds to today’s burning crises – hyper-capitalism, ecological threats, or the rule of the “stronger sex”. Her videos, in which she often combines staged scenes, comic-like drawings and 3D animations, usually incorporate images of dystopian worlds, resembling post-surrealist visual collages. Marie Lukáčová, with art theoretician Anna Remešová, see the faults of current political and social structures and tackle them in their artistic and theoretical practice. Their collaboration started with discussions regarding the problematic position of women and LGBTQ+ minorities in the Roman Catholic Church, particularly their exclusion from decision-making processes. Responding to this injustice and spiritual causes of the current social crisis, their joint film titled Milena's Song engages with contemporary feminist thinking, namely the legacy of cyberfeminism. It depicts a story of a cleaning lady, who finds her own way of manifesting her faith while being in the shadow of institutional hierarchy. Touching and roaming the interior of an iconic modernist church in Prague, she transforms the act of cleaning into a process of spiritual engagement, intensified by the animated alterations of the space and the captivating lyrics of her song. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Eva Koťátková (*1982) studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, at San Francisco Art Institute, and the Akademie Bildenden Künste in Vienna, graduating in 2007. Her solo exhibitions have been held at the Kunsthalle Charlottenborg, Stockholm, SE (2019), Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan, IT (2018), 21er Haus, Vienna, AU (2017), Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, ES (2015), and Modern Art Oxford, UK (2013). She has participated in several international exhibitions, including Sonsbeek16, Arnheim, NL (2016), the New Museum’s Triennial, US (2015), and 55th Venice Biennale, IT (2013). She is a co-founder of the Institute of Anxiety that sees anxiety as a result of social, political, economic and ecological forces. Using a variety of media, her work addresses the social, institutional and physical structures of everyday life – the rules and restrictions which shape how we think, learn, move, behave and create. (Text: Markéta Jonášová)
Stomach of the World
Winning the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for young visual artists in 2007, the comprehensive work of Eva Koťatková has since received international recognition. Her immersive installations are composed of collages, objects, spatial structures, performances and videos, drawing attention to the unconscious, invisible and subtle forms of suppression, manipulation and control that prevail in society. Revealing these disciplinary measures enables the artist to uncover the institutional mechanisms that form the dominant concepts of the desired behaviour and allow for the suppression and exclusion of unwanted subjectivities. In her film titled the Stomach of the World, a group of children perform ten different exercises, based on a script narrated by an impersonal male voice. Starting with a drawing exercise in a gym, the actions performed by the children gradually move to the external world. Using performative means of staged action, such as puppetry and black theatre – forms with a rich tradition in the Czech Republic – the artist likens various bodily processes to social processes, metaphorically depicting the various operations performed by the stomach of the contemporary world.