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Eva Koťátková: Interviews with the Monster

Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Praha MeetFactory
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Eva Koťátková: Interviews with the Monster

13. 1. - 6. 6. 2021

Eva Koťátková’s exhibition project Interviews with the Monster takes the form of the de- and re- construction of situations in which the majority’s encounters with otherness reveal social prejudices and the mechanisms of exclusion. One example is the relatively recent and unsuccessful sheltered housing projects intended for disadvantaged people that emerged in several Czech municipalities. Koťátková uses publicly available sources, in addition to her own archive of interviews and testimonies, to allow various parties to speak, including witnesses and those who have been harmed.

Three monumental, thematically linked installations portray a spectrum of opinions on the issue of normativity and the discrimination and fear of otherness connected with it. The monster in the name of Koťátková’s exhibition deliberately diverts from the derogatory connotation of the traditional understanding of “monstrosity” as otherness (one infamous example of this would be traveling “human curiosities” or freak shows); and on the contrary, as a dark monster, illustrates the irrational and socially pervasive fear of the other and the unknown, and the attempt to equip oneself with defense mechanisms and push otherness to the margins.

The artist explains: “Our society is built on inequality and exclusion. Beginning in childhood, we are purposefully ingrained with a fear of what is different or unknown. There is no place for difference; it poses a threat to the system. That which is different is often labeled malfunctioning, incomplete or ill - something that needs to be fixed or removed from service. A distinctive movement, gesture or sound is immediately diagnosed, corrected, treated. Imagination is tolerated only as a means for dreaming, not as a tool for change. We are taught one story while others are silenced, erased. The social monster is the embodiment of our learned concerns and fears.  It grows as inequality and oppression grow. It is our collective emotional body.  It speaks in the exhibition because it cannot stop. It has its own little lair; in the evenings sometimes it takes a walk around the city, returning each time a little bigger.  It speaks about how it is to be labeled different and what kind of unexpected forms fear of the unknown can take. 

 

Eva Koťátková (*1982) is a fine artist actively involved in the Czech and international contexts. She received her Master’s degree from The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (AVU) and her Doctorate from The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.  Koťátková was the Jindřich Chalupecký Award Laureate in 2007. She is the co-founder of the platform Institute of Anxiety, which creates a space for cooperation between artists, theorists and activists. Her work explores forms of power, manipulation, discrimination and control foisted by institutions on those who defy norms (or what is considered normal) in some way or another. Using various media, Koťátková then searches for other models of functioning, communication and sharing which would enable individuals and collectives to act in more free, equal, and empathic ways.  She works with marginalized stories and emotions often inviting children to collaborate with her.  Koťátková has exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale (2019), The Metropolitan Museum in New York (2018), 21er Haus - Museum for Contemporary Art in Vienna (2017), Sonsbeek (2016), The New Museum Triennial in New York (2015), Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin (2014) and the Venice Biennale (2013).

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Eva Koťátková: Interviews with the Monster
Curated by: Tereza Jindrová
Production: Jan Vítek
Architecture: Dominik Lang
PR: Zuzana Kolouchová, Filip Pleskač
Graphic Design: Richard Wilde, Jan Arndt
Production of Objects: Renata Dračková, Dana Koťátková, Martina Lhotová,  Karolína Liberová, Jiří Merčák
Voices: Roman Horák, Tomáš Jeřábek, Anna Klusáková, Anita Krausová, Richard Němec, Václav Poláček, Matěj Samec, Monika Špoulová, Halka Třešňáková, Eliška Vavřínková, Daniela Voráčková, Jitka Rudolfová
Sound: Vojtěch Zavadil, Wombat Studio
Installation Team: Vladimír Drbohlav, Štěpán Eliáš, Antonín Klouček, Tomáš Koutník, Antonín Kvasnička, Karel Mazač, Oliver Mazač, Vojtěch Žák
Other Collaborators: Kateřina Kolářová, Alyson Patsavas, Magda Stojowska-Jiřička, Magdalena Šipka, Hana Turečková

The exhibition is output of the long-term gallery project called Other Knowledge
The project was supported by the Czech State Fund for Culture.

Press release 
Curator's Text 
Photos by Studio Flusser 
Guided Tour - with Czech or English subtitles 
Stories: The Social Monster 
I
nterviews with the Monster - audio play 
Magdalena Šipka: Red Riding Hood, Danni and the They-Goblins