Modern Art Oxford is currently presenting the first solo UK exhibition by Eva Kot’átková. Working with a group of performers, the artist creates a series of tableaux throughout the upper galleries; each work presents a performer connected with an object to form a ‘living’ part of a sculpture. A giant speech organ commands the space of the Upper Gallery, creating a playground, gym, theatre and circus mixed environment for a group of performers to enact poses and temporary body constellations. The performers interact with an eclectic range of objects in a playful navigation of language and experience of the everyday.
In the Middle Gallery visitors encounter a more intimate performance where an actor in the guise of a professor delivers a lecture that compares traditional forms of storytelling to that of Samuel Becket which have more of a performative element. Exploring philosophical ideas surrounding language and performance, the narrative is based on a script written by Kotátková’s father, a former Professor of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague and former visiting scholar in Oxford.
Kot’átková’s work develops through collaboration and performance to explore the language of sculpture and to reevaluate ‘normal’ situations. Her tools include video, photography, found objects and drawings as records of her own performances. Kot’átková’s works are proposals for living in an awkward age; blueprints for difficulties that must be overcome in order to explore limits of human relationships and behaviour. Objects become mediators which borrow human voices and tell personal stories as well as literary narratives of human isolation and otherness.
Eva Kot’átková lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic. At 25 years, she was awarded the Jindrich Chalupecky Award for young artists in the Czech Republic. Born in 1982 in Prague, she studied at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts until 2008, before moving to the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. In 2013 she will complete her doctoral studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. In 2007 Kotátková won the J. Chalupecký Award for You ng Artists and the J. Hivka Award. Her most significant group exhibitions include the Liverpool Biennial in 2010, the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012 and in 2013 the 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale as part of The Encyclopedic Palace. She had a solo presentation Not How People Move But What Moves Them (Lafayette sector) late October 2013, during FIAC, Paris.
EVA KOT’ÁTKOVÁ A STORYTELLER’S INADEQUACY: Modern Art Oxford 30 November – 2 February 2014