Bára Šimková

umnelkine, 2022, audio, 18min

📍 Venue → GHMP

Bára Šimková's fairy tale is about an artist who is also a single mother. It follows up on Bára Šimková’s long-term interest in single parents who are trying to survive in the working conditions of the highly underfunded art world and, generally speaking, in a society which systematically underestimates the importance of care. Does a single parent have the right to devote themselves professionally to art and at the same time demand dignified living conditions? Or should they resign, give up their artistic self-realization, and come to terms with what society has to offer: Not to live but rather only to survive in endless uncertainty, to change the subject of one’s interest based on the economic outlook, or to resign from whatever ambition one has other than securing rent, food, tidiness, and a clean child? The term “single mother” arouses at worst contempt, at best compassion. But what if not every single mother’s dream is to find a new daddy for her child? Shouldn’t every mother, whether they live in a partnership or not, be free? The fairy tale deals with art, upbringing, relationships, and failure. The artist deals with the role of the state and its institutions such as courts, preschools, and social welfare unions which condition any provided support on additional work: running errands, waiting in line, and filling out forms. What’s more, are these institutions even trustworthy? Will there be some kind of a supernatural revelation that would help our heroine? Or will the greatest magic she could experience be the acceptance of reality and a new-found determination?

Narrated by Rebecca Riisness
Sound Design: Monika Rygálová
Translation: Lívia Tomečková
Recorded in Mr. Wombat studio

Bára Šimková (*1989) graduated in Intermedia and Digital Creation at the Faculty of Visual Arts of the Brno University of Technology. She is currently a PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Her research focuses on the issue of gender and economic inequalities and the position of caregivers in artistic operations. In 2018, she screened her short film Vidíš, Praha! at the Ji.Hlava International Documentary Film Festival, winning first place in the My Street Films section. She has participated in residency programs in Norway, Russia, and Slovakia. She thinks that people should work less and get paid more. She is a member of the relaxation collective Lilky_60200.