Anna Daučíková
Anna Daučíková, installation view, Secession 2022, photo: Oliver Ottenschläger

Anna Daučíková

September 16 – November 6, 2022


My mental body seeks for a language, it seeks for speaking hands, hips, ears, feet in all their reappearances. Its grammar is concave and convex, the gesturing is syntax. (AD)

Anna Daučíková is a pioneer of feminist-queer art in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Teaching for many years at art academies in Bratislava and Prague, and in recent years at the Salzburg Summer Academy, she counts to the most influential forward thinkers in the area of queer theory and practice.

After completing her studies at the Academy of Fine Art Bratislava in 1978, she moved to Moscow (then USSR) in the early 1980s. Returning to Bratislava in 1991, Daučíková ran the art section in the feminist journal ASPEKT. Her artistic practice moved from studio work while she joined in performance art events, widely organized in the Slovak art scene in the mid-1990s. In her video art, the engagement of the artist’s body and bodily action projected on the screen became her main concern, presenting feminist and queer statements. Over the last five decades, the artist has developed a comprehensive oeuvre that comprises painting, photography, collage, film, and sculpture. She has developed a practice that explores the concept of the “mental body,” a result of her preoccupation with what she has coined as “in-betweenness” to express and negotiate her transgender identity.

Two recent video works, not yet shown in a European context, which negotiate or attempt to manifest this concept, form the thematic framework of the exhibition. At the center of both works is the search for a prototypical, non-verbal language. Executed through gestures and bodily-rhythmic movement sequences, it works on a meta-level that blurs clearly defined, and thus constricting attributions of meaning.

In the video So One and So Mine II. (2022), presented on four monitors, Daučíková can be seen exercising, or rather embodying, her idea of the “mental body”. She acts in front of and for the camera, which she also directs. In Talking to you (2021), a video work created in the context of the Jakarta Biennial, Daučíková and Tamarra, a queer artist living in Jakarta, meet via screen in a gestural exchange about notions of in-betweenness. These central video works are flanked by Daučíková’s earlier photo series, in which physical gestures or their content-related charges are the focus of the pictorial analysis.

ES_I found gratification in spotting forms that come from gestures and sounds, from well-nigh words … and saw, all together it creates the “me”. (AD)

Programmed by the board of the Secession
Curated by Jeanette Pacher

Anna Daučíková, born in 1950 in Bratislava, lives and works in Prague and Bratislava.