For her exhibition subtitled ERROR, Eva Kot’átková focuses on relationships between human bodies and the oppressive institutional structures that sometimes surround them, in a new video and series of collages and sculptures. Kot’átková is interested in the stories or cases of individuals who–for various reasons−are unable to integrate themselves into social structures. They become secluded, isolated, and handicapped by their circumstances, or develop alternative means to communicate, often through objects, props and devices. Others build parallel identities to escape from reality into a constructed world. In such a world, people become subordinate to their own invented rules, and apply different communication patterns and new hierarchies to their everyday life.
The exhibition includes a group of sculptural assemblages and collages that reference outmoded medical equipment, surreal body extensions, body parts, props and apparatuses. Also on view will be a video work filmed on the grounds of the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, titled The Judicial Murder of Jakob Mohr. The video shows a staged trial performed in the hospital’s theater, involving professional actors, staff and patients. The genesis of this performance is a 1909-1910 drawing made by psychiatric patient Jakob Mohr in which he depicted himself as a defendant on trial, suspecting the impartial court audience to be masked doctors or fellow patients who conspired to betray him. Mohr called his drawings proofs or documents that testified to the existence of a so-called “influencing machine,” a device that influenced his everyday actions and intercepted his most private thoughts.
Eva Kot’átková (b. 1982, Prague) was an artist in residence at ISCP in 2008, as the youngest person ever to receive the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for artists from the Czech Republic, with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Kot’átková was born in 1982 in Prague, Czech Republic. From 2002 to 2008 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. Recent solo exhibitions include Out of Sight, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, USA; Eva Koťátková: Anatomical Orchestra, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany; A Story Teller’s Inadequacy, Modern Art Oxford, UK; and Theatre of Speaking Objects, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany. Group exhibitions include 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York, USA; Avatar und Atavism. Outside the Avant-garde, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; 5 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia; and The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale, Italy.
This exhibition is curated by Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, ISCP, and is accompanied by a print and online publication that includes an interview between the artist and Vit Havránek.
Eva Kot’átková: ERROR is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Czech Center New York, The Greenwich Collection, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.