Barbora Klímová’s work balances on the border of close, yet still different activities that are art work, art history and curatorship. Through her projects she disrupts and questions well established methods and limits of these disciplines and in an exceptional way fulfills the term artistic research.
In the long term the author focuses on several related topics: live art and the possibilities of its mediation; communities emerging around artistic activities of selected artists and through their work; she is interested in motives and personal memories of artists; she focuses on overlooked or difficult to grasp aspects of local cultural history, mostly in Moravia during the normalization era.
She sees these phenomena through the prism of memory and possibilities od mediation of experience or memories, while she uses a wide spectrum of processes and forms to do so; reenactments, stagings of the content of private archives, records of converstaions or their live sharing with the public, various types of documentary material, personal diaries or snapshots. Collaboration is necessary and typical for her work- both with artists of an older generation whose work she is interested in (Vladimír Havlík, to name one), and other collaborators (Filip Cenek).
Her initiative project was Replaced-Brno-2006 (Jindřich Chalupecký award); this line of work also includes a series of works realized within the programme Práce in Tranzitdisplay in Prague (since 2010). Her exhibition projects include Navzájom. Archívy neinštitucionalizovanej kultúry 70.–80. rokov v Československu for Tranzit dielne in Bratislava in 2012 and Navzájem. Společenství 70. a 80. let (realized in The Brno House of Arts and in Tranzitdisplay v in 2013, exhibitions Miloslav Sonny Halas through the years and Něco. Daliborem Chatrným, both realized in 2016. These artistic, curatorial and production projects culminated with the publication Navzájem. Umělci a společenství na Moravě 70.–80. let 20. století (Tranzit.cz and VUT in Brno, 2013).
In his study Replication does not mean a mere copy, but also a part of a dialogue (Replaced, catalogue, DVD, 2006), Tomáš Pospiszyl links Replaced to strategies of critical postmodernism such as appropriation, remake or reenactment. He pointed out the fact that the author did not aspire to repeat the action, but rather to test the differences in our experience of public space during the normalization era and nowadays. More than a decade later we can observe how in Klímová’s project there is a gradually more prevalent tendency to see art work as a dialogue, in the sense of mutual sharing and influencing, but also to record and stage it. This shift means crossing the frame of artistic and theoretical activities including the topic of archive towards sensoric turn that questions the dominance of the isolated, specially trained eye, and moves toward multisencoric experience of the perception of art whose essential part is the reflection of psychosomatic reactions of one’s own body to outer stimuli. This approach is visible in a sort of travel diary in letters, originally available through the Tranzitdisplay website, in which the author, together with Vladimír Havlík, records the journey taken by her, Filip Cenek and Vladimír Havlík with his then travel companion, which was initially inspired by the documentary film Navzájem
While in the Replaced project Klímová was a medium to mediate actions of other authors, in the case of staged interviews with other artists we witness a live process of remembering and sharing experience, motives, feelings, a “here and now” constituting a collective memory. Collective memory is a term for an intergenerational shared experience of members of a certain community created through interaction with other members of the community through common experience and also in the process of discussion, sharing and reflection of the experience. When we talk about memory, it is necessary to realize that we are not talking about something stable (a library, an archive), but about mental creative processes in which the reflections of our experience keep reconfiguring themselves. It is this shift from the work with media (where the medium is the author’s own body or archival documents) towards the work in the medium of memory (interviews, shared experience) that is Barbora Klímová’s unique and valuable input to the debate about the possibilities and shapes of setting live art into the history of art of the twentieth century.