Karina Kottová (born in 1984) belongs among the most prominent curators of contemporary art in the Czech Republic. She established and ran a number of smaller projects and is active as a curator abroad. Since 2015 she has been the director of the Jindřich Chalupecký Society.
Karina Kottová earned a MA in Art and Heritage at the University in Maastricht and then she returned to Prague to gain experience as the head of the Education Department in Kampa Museum (2007 – 2009) and in the DOX Center for Contemporary Art (2009 – 2012). The emphasis Karina Kottová lays on the mediation of contemporary art is traceable already in her early projects. It was also the theme of her dissertation Institution and Viewer (defended in 2015 at Masaryk University in Brno, supervisor doc. PhDr. Ladislav Kesner jr.).
Her starting point were workshops which focused on contemporary artists and were organized by an educational platform UMA: You Make Art (2008, today known as UMA Audioguide). Together with Jana Babincová she co-founded a project to enable students and members of the general public interested in art to meet members of the contemporary art scene. Later Karina Kottová took part in founding Prádelna Bohnice, a space for contemporary art in the premises of a former laundry of the Bohnice psychiatric hospital (2011-2015), the experimental space INI Project (from 2013 up to the present) and the Věra Jirousová Award for art critics (from 2013 up to the present).
As the chief curator (2012-2015) at MeetFactory, the International Center for Contemporary Art, Karina Kottová prepared exhibitions e.g. Opak je pravdou (The Opposite is True)(2012, Anna Hulačová, Pavla Screanková, Iede Reckman, Derk Thijs, Erwin Wurm), Cesta (Road) (2014, Francis Alÿs, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Vojtěch Fröhlich and others), Platónovo třetí oko (Plato´s Third Eye) (2014, Matyáš Chochola, Kirstin Roepstorff, Pavel Sterec, Sinta Werner and others), 15 000 let stejnosti (15 000 Years of Sameness) (2015, Matěj Smetana and Dan Perjovschi, cooperation Jaro Varga) and a performance taking place in a site-specific installation of Jan Haubelt and Jiří Thýn entitled O něco horší než Romeo (A Bit Worse than Romeo) (2015, cooperation Matěj Samec). What was typical of those exhibitions was a thematic framework with a slightly engaged subtext, a space for associative thinking and an interest in the irrational perception of the world.
As the director of the Jindřich Chalupecký Society Karina Kottová has been organizing the Jindřich Chalupecký Award for three years and she has also been working on the program of intensive promotion of the contemporary Czech art scene and its international contextualization through exhibitions abroad. She prepared for instance the exhibition Don‘t Worry, Boy (2017) in ForumBOX in Helsinki, which introduced mostly works by artists – finalists of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, and the exhibition Ripple Effect (in cooperation with Fatoş Üstek) in Prague Futura. In the year 2018 she is opening in Berlin SAVVY Contemporary an exhibition of works by Barbora Kleinhamlová, the winner of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2015, and a solo exhibition of Kateřina Vincourová in Katzen Arts Center in Washington.
Karin Kottová regards the work of a curator as a creative activity based on a dialogue and simultaneously on the care for the artists and the public. The essence of curatorship is the forming of a context and ways of presenting and distributing art works within the framework of the present extremely accelerated management of contemporary art.