Artist talk 5.30–6.30 pm on 21 November in the Cube
Exhibition Opening 6.30–8 pm on 21 November
Relatively Speaking tour:
1pm on 28 November starting at Project Arts Centre.
Screenings and talks:
6 – 9 pm 28 November 2019
Screening of The Asthenic Syndrome (USSR, 1989) directed by Kira Muratova.
6 – 7.30pm 10 December 2019
Selection of artists’ films from the final years of the Eastern Bloc and socialist Yugoslavia introduced by David Crowley, cultural historian, from the School of Visual Culture at National College of Art and Design.
6 – 7.30pm 16 January 2020
Screening curated and introduced by Nat Schastneva, independent researcher and trans artivist.
All events will be held in the Cube at Project Arts Centre.
Anna Daučíková is an artist and teacher based in Prague. Following her graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in 1978, she emigrated to Moscow (then the USSR) where she lived and worked for over a decade. In this period, she developed an extensive painting practice, as well as an interest in photography triggered by her encounters with feminist thinking. Returning to Bratislava in 1991, Daučíková co-founded an influential feminist journal Aspekt and her practice shifted towards video art and performance events, which were then widely popular throughout the Slovak art scene. The engagement of the artist’s body and bodily actions became the main concern in this video work, and in presenting a queer aesthetic.
Alongside her artistic work, Daučíková has been a co-founder and activist for several women’s NGOs, and a spokesperson for LGBT rights in Slovakia. Her academic career includes teaching positions at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava and, since 2012, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Since 1991, Daučíková has exhibited internationally at Slovak National Gallery / Esterházy Palace (2019, Bratislava); Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life, Württembergischer Kunstverein (2019, Stuttgart); Medium Gallery (2018, Bratislava); Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life, lítost (2018, Prague); D’EST. A Multi-Curatorial Online Platform for Video Art from the former ‘East’ and ‘West’, District, Berlin and various locations (2018-2020); FOR, The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society (with Assaf Evron, 2018, Chicago); State of Concept (2018, Athens); Circular Defense, Gallery CarrerasMúgica (with Zbynek Baladrán, 2018, Bilbao); Documenta 14 (2017, Athens/Kassel); Politics of Gesture, House of Art (2017, Ústí nad Labem); FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art (2016, Prague); Kiyv Biennial/School of Kyiv (2015, Kyiv); Manifesta 10 – Eastern Window (2014, St. Petersburg), Good Girls, MNAC (2013, Bucharest); Gender Check – Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe (2010, The Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and MUMOK, Vienna); Ars Homo Erotica, The National Museum in Warsaw (2009, Warsaw); Kunst und Öffentlichkeit. 40 Jahre Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2009, Berlin).
Anna Daučíková was the recipient of the Schering Stiftung Art Award 2018 with an exhibition at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in summer 2019. The first extensive monograph on her work, A_NNA D_AUČÍKOV_Á – TRANS_FORMATION, was published by the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava in 2018.
Informed by historical and political aspects of feminism, Anna Daučíková’s practice addresses issues around normativity and norms, technologies of power, queer subjectivities, and the politics of privacy and intimacies. She has worked in a broad spectrum of media from glass, painting, and drawing, to photography, conceptual photo-collage, performance, and video. Her first solo exhibition in Ireland will feature a selection of recent and older video and photographic works.
Daučíková moved to Moscow in the 1980s and lived through the final decade of the USSR: first, the post-Breznyev era; followed by the Perestroika period, with its complex set of reforms initiated by then General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, the devastating Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989) and one of the longest lasting nuclear catastrophes, Chernobyl (April 1986).
For Daučíková-the-artist, the latter was the period when she discovered the power of photography. Towards the end of the 1980s, she came in contact with feminist thinking and practices through the Italian Diotima group, a community of women philosophers deeply involved in feminist politics since the 1960s. Her involvement with this group informed her LGBT activism, and had a decisive influence on her practice once she moved back to Bratislava in 1991. Daučíková’s Soviet life and professional experiences, as well as her knowledge of the Russian language and culture, remained dormant until the mid-2000s. This exhibition at Project Arts Centre partly interrogates a silent decade, investigating the ways in which these experiences and knowledges were revisited, recovered, and reflected upon in video works such as Thirty-three Situations (2007–2015), Along the Axis of Affinity (2015), and On Allomorphing (2017) commissioned by documenta 14.
Daučíková describes Thirty-three Situations as ‘something between a police dossier, a medical history, and a sort of stigmatic script of the individual situations’ which draws extensively from her life in Moscow where she lived in a ‘kommunalka’ (an apartment shared between several families). Based on anecdotes, the film is made in 4:3 TV format, and builds a fictitious bureaucratic database of the lives of ordinary citizens. Banal, violent, and absurd, the 33 stories present us with glimpses into otherness and tactics of survival within a totalitarian system.
Along the Axis of Affinity centres around the legacy and philosophy of Kiev-based tile-maker, Valery Pavlovich Lamakh (1925–1978), who was a key figure in the ‘unofficial’ network of underground artists. The work meditates on the ways Lamakh’s lifelong research on geometrical schemes were ‘smuggled’ into his state-commissioned mosaic panels for Soviet residential buildings, intercutting them with examples from European post-war building projects. The three-channel video, On Allomorphing, connects narratives that relate to Daučíková’s (self-)education in feminist critique and gender politics, and the continuous transgression of rules, borders, and normativities that shaped her bodily-being-in-becoming transgender and transexual.
Both as a foreigner and an undercover lesbian/transgender person, Daučíková observed different sides of the Soviet everyday life during the demise of the Soviet Union. Her Moscow / Women / Sunday (1989–1990) is a series of snapshots that depict women at their Sunday shopping in a landscape almost devoid of male presence. The sense of fatigue the cycle conveys quietly testifies to a mechanism of survival and female ‘double-employment’.
The exhibition includes prints that relate to Daučíková’s Garden Party (1988), a humorous series that catalogues glasses left in public as markers of a secret drinking culture. It also presents an ongoing series of self-portraits (Untitled1988; Untitled1998; Untitled2017), and the photographic reworking of the collage series, The Turn in the Bathtub (1996), a work that signals the shift in her practice to a playful focus on ideas of corporeality, sexuality and perceptions.
Untitled1998, 1998, self-portrait series in progress, b&w photographs, 40×30.5 cm
Courtesy the artist.
Curator: Lívia Páldi
Framing: Dublin Picture Framing