2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997
23.10.2008 - 23.12.2008, Berlin
I do it because they taught me to
We are glad to present the young artist Eva Kotatkova, whose artistic position is analytically concerned with possible forms of perception, using methods based on drawing, sculpture and performance.
The focal point of the exhibition “I do it because they taught me to” is normative behavior patterns as well as being subject to manipulation respective one’s own body. With the aid of a deconstructive practise, in which Eva Kotatkova explores the discrepancy between a past or given condition and its imitation, the artist pursues the endeavor of declaring irritation to be a moment of insight. In the process of definition and transformation as well as the questioning of conventions and traditional rules, Kotatkova explores self-conditioning and expounds a coincidentally and didactically characterised method of education as an artistic and socially analytical study.
Starting from her own person and her immediate environment, Eva Kotatkova performs a kind of reenactment by imitating and reviving specific situations (from her childhood), whereby she generates alternative paradigms in the process of observing, documenting and challenging. The long-term project Walk to School, for example, forms a basis for the revision Kotatkova undertakes: the artist takes on the role of a schoolchild in a performative act, and in pursuit of this state, reconstructs her perception of her own former way to school and life in school. By re-entering a condition which defines itself as distinct from the initial situation Kotatkova utilises a system-theoretical point of departure, which appears in her work as re-entry into a non-reflective, preconscious state of existence.
A fundamental point in Eva Kotatkova’s work is the pervasion of form and content: Drawings, objects and actions always bear reference to one another through a superordinate context, they form points of intersection and cross-references within the framework of her recurrent model-theme.
The video projection, for instance “Sit straight with your arms behind your back” shows documentary shots of posture apparatuses, which are supposed to instil a normed way of looking and body posture into a group of schoolchildren. Here Kotatkova ventilates the relationship to one’s own body, which is declared a puppetlike object by this manipulative and forced imposition, and continues this exemplarily in her sculptures: In a synthetic-operative process of remodeling, body parts become prostheses made out of objects from life at school, often acting as a substitute of the (Freudian) subconscious through a theoretical-surrealistic process of transformation. Paradigmatic for the process of corroding a situation or a condition is one of the objects, which is a reproduction of a wooden rump, which Kotatkova has dressed in her red child’s jacket of wooly bowels. She offsets the autopsy and digestion of the self in another piece; the miniature reproduction of monkey bars, this marks the retrospective view upon one’s own past in a shifted perspective, defined by association.
Finally, a reality constructed by imagination is proclaimed by the diaristic drawings that Kotatkova has been producing with various types of pens and paper, echoing childrens’ book illustrations, over a long period of time. Formulated in a dadaistic pictorial language that invites free connotation, these fantastic and surreal artworks are mirrors of inner sensitivities, therefore they oppose the rigid apparatuses as expressions of an inner attitude, in the expressive style of “écriture automatique”.
Eva Kotatkova leads the viewer to an exemplary analysis of the self in her exhibition “I do it because they taught me to” by revealing a revision founded on staged appearances, with her own person as its point of departure. Using an oneirocritical method, the artist evokes the penetration of an interior inhibition, which - in the process of exaggeration - amounts to an appeal: to approach the (inner) barrier and to overcome it. Through the technique of questioning traditional values, Eva Kotatkova’s works manifest themselves in a didactic light – instead of instructions, however, they offer the results of such – and thereby outline the efficacy and character of externally imposed norms as well as the question of the existence of free will.
(Translation Zoe Miller)
1 of 4, back - next
`I do it because they taught me to´