The Jindřich Chalupecký Award Finalists 2018

Alžběta Bačíková, Lukáš Hofmann, Tomáš Kajánek, Kateřina Olivová and Adéla Součková; these are the finalists of the 29th edition of Czech Republic’s most prestigious award for exceptionally remarkable work in the field of visual arts for artists up to the age of 35. Their artistic positions and approaches are truly diverse, straddled between explicitly engaged and self-critical gesture, ranging from the endeavor to consider and involve specific audience groups to intimate and atmospheric situations and actions. They share an intensive interest in very particular aspects of the present, such as human relations, creating collective consciousness and making not only a rational but also a strongly emotional impact on the viewers/participants. They are not afraid to be provocative on various levels and to push the traditional limits of the exhibition.

01 Alžběta Bačíková

“The motives addressed by the artist include a reflection on the hero archetype in the context of contemporary gender stereotypes as well as the reality of human relationships and specific social roles shifted to other conceptual levels through authorial manipulation of the documented aspects.” (jury statement)

Alžběta Bačíková (*1988) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology (Painting Studio of Luděk Rathouský and Jiří Franta) where she enrolled in the PhD program in 2015. In 2017, she went to a residency program at Egon Schiele Art Center in Český Krumlov and a research program at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv. In the past years, Bačíková has dealt with a reflection of documentary tendencies in contemporary art both in her theoretical research and in her artistic practice. What especially interests her in this context is the category of objectivity and the approaches undermining the false illusion of the objectivity of the genre. She focuses on the medium of the moving image and works primarily with video installation. She regularly enriches her individual work with collaborations with other female artists and also works as a curator. The artist has regularly presented her work in the context of the Czech independent art scene while also having exhibited in the National Gallery in Prague, Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem and Stúdió Galéria in Budapest. In 2014, she was a finalist of the Startpoint Prize for up-and-coming artists.

02 Lukáš Hofmann

“Hofmann’s performances are a fascinating, monstrous and in a way perverse expression of the fragility and insecurity of the individual confronted with the world of impersonal forces producing the images of a personality rather than the personality itself.” (jury statement)

Lukáš Hofmann (*1993) studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Studio of Intermedia Work III / Tomáš Vaněk School). He went to a study program at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Sculpture Studio) and in Berlin. He participated in a residency program at Nisyros, Greece organized by the Prague-based platform Are. He is also known as Saliva and expresses himself primarily through performance and ͞social͞ sculptures that often speak in the dialect of the fashion and creative industry. In his situations, he creates curated communities of actors and environments in which he induces a focused atmosphere and egalitarian dynamic. In this way, he communicates a whole range of most current emotions: apathy as well as potentiality of feeling, disappointment and hope. He regularly participates in collective exhibitions and art events in the Czech Republic and abroad; he has presented his work e.g. in the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and PLATO Gallery in Ostrava; during Manifesta 11, he performed at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.

03 Tomáš Kajánek

“His works have latent gender content, making a humorous commentary on the existence of man who, just like a woman, is limited by conventions in his relationship to his body; man as an artist; manliness as a self-destructive gesture; and, in a more abstracted form, in connection with nationalism and anarchism.” (jury statement)

Tomáš Kajánek (*1989) studies at the Studio Without a Master. In 2016, he attended the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria; in 2015, he received the VIG Special Invitation within the Essl Art Award CEE and participated in a residency program in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Kajánek works primarily in the medium of photography, video and performance. In his work, he enters the gaps he finds on the edges of social phenomena. By his actions, he accentuates particular issues of contemporary society – for instance the relation of the majority society to minorities or the usefulness and risks of publicly accessible new technologies. His frequent inspiration sources include YouTube and other platforms for creative content sharing. His performances often include an element of exposing his own body to a difficult physical act or even physical endangerment. He also thematizes the medium of performance as such and addresses the question of human and artistic involvement. The artist has presented his work at collective and solo exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad, including ones at the National Gallery in Prague, Vienna Biennale in Austria, Nitra Gallery in Slovakia, and Croxhapox in Gent, Belgium.

04 Kateřina Olivová

“First, the works by Kateřina Olivová struck the jury by their strong visuality and direct corporeality. We were pleased to gradually uncover a broad range of questions reflected by the artist under the striking brand. Besides the female body and its eroticism, where the artist’s works rank among the most expressive and explicit ones on the contemporary young scene, the addressed themes primarily include questions related to motherhood.” (jury statement)

Kateřina Olivová (*1984) graduated from the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Brno University of Technology (Studio of Body Design of Jana Preková, later Lenka Klodová) where she now continues with her PhD study program. In her work, Olivová deals with the themes of femininity, feminism, corporeality, sexuality, motherhood, interpersonal relationships and emotions. Through her performances, often balancing on the edge of kitsch and intentional awkwardness, she opens the questions of deep-rooted social taboos. The primary medium of her work consists in the body involved in a performance filled with bright rainbow colors, glitter and joy of one’s own existence and nudity. She does not differentiate between her art and her everyday life so sometimes it is hard to tell what is still an act aimed at her viewers and what is already her lifestyle. Besides her own artistic practice, she also works as a curator of Galerie Umakart in Brno and is a founder of the support group for (not only) mothers-artists Mothers Artlovers. She has presented her work at solo and collective exhibitions primarily in the context of the Czech independent art scene, regularly participating in symposia and festivals with her performances, for instance at the Festival of Naked Forms in Vrané nad Labem and ART.eria 2016 public space in Czestochowa, Poland.

05 Adéla Součková

“The works by Adéla Součková address – lately primarily through remedialized and expanding drawing – elementary human situations as a palimpsest of archetype, tradition, experience, alienation and multiple social mediation.” (jury statement)

Adéla Součková (*1985) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Painting Studio II / Vladimír Skrepl School) and from Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden. She attended a study program in Salzburg; in 2017, she went to a residency at Art in General in New York. Součková’s essential means of expression is drawing and painting, however, she also expresses herself through performance, object installations and video. In her work, she draws on the tension between nature and culture, old mythologies and archetypes as well as on the current debate on the themes of ecology and feminism. Součková regularly exhibits primarily at independent galleries in the Czech Republic and in Germany. She has presented her work at the Brno House of Arts, label201 in Rome, Zwischermaschine in Berlin and MWW Muzeum Współczesne in Wroclaw among others. In 2015, she was a finalist of the Critics’Award for Young Painters. She lives and works in Prague and Berlin.