Matter of Art

Alžběta Bačíková – Lavish Issue

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Lavish Issue was one of the twelve new artworks commissioned for the exhibition Biennale Matter of Art Prague 2020. Due to the government restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition was prematurely closed and therefore many people missed it. We have managed to shift a small part of the program online, including two commissioned artworks with the kind permission of the authors. Aside from this video by Alžběta Bačíková, you may now also stream Jiří Žák's film It Was Probably Our Karel, She Said here.

Lavish Issue presents the Romani political scientist and human rights activist Edita Stejskalová through a staged visit to the Müller Villa in Prague in which the filmmaker creates a dialogue between her protagonist and Adolf Loos’s famous modernist house – today a national cultural monument. The building’s interior and exterior design offer the possibility of a symbolic interpretation. The subdued facade, contrasted with its richly decorated interior, forms an excellent foundation for exploring the relationship between public and private. The villa and its luxury interior thus represent a high standard of living, while the fact that this originally private space is open to the public opens up questions regarding the accumulation or redistribution of cultural and other forms of wealth. The building’s status as a monument of cultural heritage forces us to consider questions related to the sharing of goods and societal values. Visitors cannot touch anything or move it. The fact that the house cannot be used functionally because of its status as a museum only further encourages the imagination.

 The staged video presents its protagonist in a ceremonial role. She is given an opportunity to give a short speech inside the villa in which she explores issues of social statuses, forms of social inequality, and the individual experience of moving through spaces with different cultures and languages.

In her work Alžběta Bačíková (*1988) mainly deals with moving images. As part of her artistic practice, she has created a number of video portraits and collaborated with blind and deaf artists. She studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology, where in 2018 she completed her dissertation on the topic of documentary approaches in contemporary video art. In 2017 she started working at etc. gallery in Prague as a curator, and since 2019 she has also worked for Artyčok.TV. She lives and works in Prague.

Alžběta Bačíková – Lavish Issue
2020; Video, color, sound, 14' 33"
With: Edita Stejskalová
Voice of guide: Ivana Vostárková
Camera: Štěpán Pech, Michal Blecha
Drone: Tomáš Mertlík
Sound: Jakub Jurásek
Music: Jakub Janšto
Editing: Kristýna Bartošová
Costumes: Pavel Berky
Make-up: Eva Svobodová
Interiors: Villa Müller
Collaboration and Support: Anežka Bartlová, Anna Davidová, Vít Havránek, Veronika Janatková, Markéta Jonášová, Miloslav Vojtíšek

Commissioned and co-produced by Biennale Matter of Art, with support from the Biofilms rental, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the City of Prague Museum and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
Courtesy Alžběta Bačíková (c) all rights reserved