Daniela Baráčková (1981) is one of the most compelling young artists on the contemporary Czech art scene. Her work is carefully thought through and yet spontaneous. Her pictures feature naive, even surreal morphologies. Her videos are moving tableaux, reconstructions of internal memory, while her models and installations enter into a dialogue with the viewer. These are, inter alia, the main characteristics of the distinctive artworks of Baráčková, who recently graduated from the Jiří David Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Her work is a compact, sometimes almost hermetically sealed whole that, nevertheless, evokes a series of personal associations through its honesty. She had already caught the attention of the public at the exhibition mounted by the curator Václav Magid in 2006 entitled Material States with her video Tramp (2006), which touches on a negative experience from the past. Her presentation at NoD (I Wanted to Paint 40 Jews Praying Before the Flight Departure) from 2007, in which she transforms personal experiences into symbols and symbolic events, is more painterly. The video Sword (2007) presented here shows the artist fencing with a fictive opponent in a hospital waiting room divided by glass from the arriving patients.
She had already at this time begun working with a phenomenon that possesses its own identity and is at the same time a semantic symbol: with models of a house, scenery or building. The link between the fate of an individual and the place where they live is materialised in the principle of a model, an idea that can be perfect and planned in order to be realised, or left in a state of unintended openness and unattainable fantasy. At the Karlín Studios (To Make a Swing from a Tyre with a Rock Devil – 2008), Baráčková exhibited several pieces of scenery, not only depicting buildings but playgrounds. She regards all of her exhibitions as a compact work, from the surface of the walls to the internal structure of the installations. One work offers a key to reading its other parts, and vice versa. Her diploma exhibit Situations, Černá Hora (2009) is a combination of the affair surrounding the building housing the Bohuslav Fuchs Primary School in the town of Černá Hora and the artist’s family events. In Baráčková’s hands, situations involving the retelling of a personally experienced story and the ensuing new reality are constructional elements of a work that is layered visually and in terms of content.