Barbora Kleinhamplová

Sickness Report, 2018, two-channel video projection, installation. Commissioned by Jindřich Chalupecký Society.

📍 Venue → Hospital

We follow a group of people sailing aimlessly on open water. The sea seems immense, and the boat resembles a trap where everyone is exposed to overwhelming dizziness. Something went terribly wrong. Was there a crash or a fail? Why does everyone on the boat seem sick? Are we sailing on a wreck? What happened to the others?

In her work, Barbora Kleinhamplová addresses the notion of sanity and disease caught through the lens of seasickness, where the sea can be seen as a metaphor for the system we live in. We try to heal it and improve it, yet despite our constant efforts, we are entirely incapable of fixing it. Lost on open water, it becomes harder and harder to define who is still sane enough to define the aim of our journey. It is not just them or we who are sick—the whole ship trembles in nausea and discomfort.

In the installation accompanying the videos, we are surrounded by bits and pieces resembling debris. They look like traces of a catastrophe, clues supposedly leading us to a solution for the undefined case. The question that remains is where are the people who did not make it to the boat? 

Barbora Kleinhamplová (*1984) is a visual artist and co-founder of the Institute of Anxiety, where she co-creates a year-round program. In her work, she explores, through association and metaphor, the question of what constitutes society, what its ills and emotions are, and what its future holds in relation to institutions, work, the economy, and the political situation. She works with performative situations, often mediated through video and installation. Through the performativity she employs in her works, she emphasizes the symbolic role of the politics of bodies in relation to the economic and power system. Kleinhamplová has exhibited in the Czech Republic and internationally, for example, at SAVVY Contemporary, Art in General, Triennial of Contemporary Art U3, Gwangju Biennale, New Museum, Astrup Fearnley Museet, and Jakarta Biennale. In 2015 she was awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize.

Installation view (c) Jonáš Verešpej