Artist: Eva Koťátková
Title: Interview with the Monster
Vene: MeetFactory Gallery, Prague
Curator: Tereza Jindrová
Photo: Studio Flusser
25 January 2021, Praha – The MeetFactory Gallery introduces a new, rich project by the internationally recognized artist Eva Koťátková. The exhibition, named 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. The exhibition was installed in the MeetFactory Gallery on 13 January and is awaiting its opening to the public as soon as government regulations allow.
Eva Koťátková’s exhibition Interviews with the Monster, developed for the MeetFactory Gallery in cooperation with curator Tereza Jindrová and a production team led by Jan Vítek, is another output of the long term gallery project Other Knowledge. 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 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.” Here curator Jindrová presents the primary theme of the exhibition.
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,” says Koťátková. “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.”
In Interviews with the Monster, Koťátková uses publicly accessible sources as well as her own archives of interviews and testimonies, giving voice to all parties, witnesses and the maligned. In a space evocative of the unfinished buildings of a sheltered housing project, both supporters and opponents of the project come to life, speaking through massive heads made of cloth. In the next space we see the lone “social monster” and the third space presents itself as an editorial office and simultaneously a space meant for interactions with the visitors, who can use their own imaginations to amass alternative stories about belonging and togetherness.
The MeetFactory Gallery’s exhibition Interviews with the Monster was scheduled to open on Wednesday, 13 January, and is now prepared to welcome its first visitors as soon as museums and galleries are reopened. Please follow our website and social media for the latest information on changes in our opening hours and our accompanying programs.
We are currently able to offer individual viewings of the exhibition to members of the press (arranged in advance), including the opportunity to interview the artist or the curator.
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).
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