The work of Anna Daučíková may appear, according to the traditional academic canon, as non-homogenous. Searching for form of expression of subjective content and establishing persistent civil battle is a natural form of artistic development for her. A fundamental break point in her artistic work happened, as she says herself, when she turned 40 and saw a video projection in Switzerland in 1994 for the first time presented as fine art, and at the same time she started to knowingly work with an event/story. It was in this context that the title for the interview of Milena Bartlová wih Anna Daučíková for the magazine Art & Antiques in 2015 I Was Born at the Age of 40 originated.
Her approach to her work is serious and inquisitive. She describes her first experience with art when she was working in the Avant-garde theatre in Břevnov in Prague, where she met Miloš Horanský and František Hrdlička. That was where she gained her first performance experience from the atmosphere of the underground, living-theatre, wild screaming and improvisation without any dramaturgy.
Daučíková’s study of Glass in Architecture with Václav Cigler influenced the form of her work in the spirit of concept, land-art and geometry. Her graduating from this studio had a rather formal influence on her work and was supposed to serve as the entrance ticket to the world of art. That eventually became her twelve-year stay in Moscow. The departure of a young girl to Russia at a time of the totalitarian regime became an issue, which Anna continues to encounter with respect to her life and work. The reasons for her move were personal, although from today’s perspective, with respect to her art work, they were irreplaceable. Several of her photographic cycles originated during her Moscow period. Relating to her study of glass she created a series of conceptual photographs of glasses in which she described relational possibilities through various compositions. Among others, she chose as her main glass object the Soviet mustard glass, which is in itself a more sociological than material object. This cycle already contains a hint of social examination and observation. Another series of a documentary situation is of Muscovites leaving their glasses on a tree overnight for the next party. She expanded the local tradition by a small intervention – she added several glasses made from better quality glass to the mustard glasses and she made a record of the adjusted readymade.
Her photographs of women from Moscow – Moscow/Women/Sunday ‘1989-1990’ did not find their way to an audience until 20 years later at the exhibition Gender Check in Vienna. It was a documentary socio-probe fed by her own interest in examining the situation. On a Sunday afternoon the only visible residents of Moscow were women. She captured the unusual atmosphere created by women with their shopping bags moving through the streets of the city, while “the men were sleeping off their Saturday night fever”.
Upon her return from Russia to Slovakia she participated in forming an open society. One of these steps included her cooperation on the founding of the feminist magazine Aspekt. In the second half of the 1990s she participated in the festivals of performance in Nové Zámky.
Between the years 1998 and 2002/2003 she returned to Moscow as an observer. She expanded her intimate view of details to capturing exteriors. These photos show scenes depicting the phenomenon of poverty. She calls her approach of distant scanning of reality ordinary voyeurism. These works include Piano Trio in B Flat, 3.40 min 2004. A trio of ordinary Muscovites spending their day by the water are captured by her from the other bank of the river. After a moment of watching this situation from a distance, it becomes clear that the only working participant is a woman with no legs while her companions are drinking something. Another picture that belongs in this category is Wie geht as Ihnen? (2004) which shows a woman, once again, who is begging on a busy street in Vienna having prepared a professional story. The video is filmed from a far enough distance so that the object observed is not disturbed from her natural behaviour.
Detail shots and interiors appear in the short film Malholandrajv, 3.47 min, 2003 in which she paraphrases the lesbian scene, which is interpreted in David Lynch’s film from the view of a man. She retained the sound and added her own visual picture. An authentic corporeality is the saturated picture Chtonický pozdrav pre C. Paglia from 2006. It is a shot of a kitchen sink in which someone’s hands are washing a dark lid accompanied by the increasing sound of the process.
The project 33 situations – fragments from her life in Moscow - originated out of the intention to make a non-political video. In this video-essay with which she is represented at the Kiev Biennale, she scans with her camera the facades of tile buildings. The exterior and the surfaces of architecture are accompanied by a narration about the “inner”’ existence of individuals – a small group of artists and intellectuals around the remarkable personality of Valeiy Lamach.
Her experience from travelling to and living in another place other than the West is an invisible quality, which resulted in a sensitive approach to man and his being in the work of Anna Daučíková. Thanks to her personality and work, she belongs to the group of artists who fundamentally influenced the development of the Czech as well as the Slovak art scene.
12th Feminale Kolín n/Rýnem
Dreamer Constructions, Avant-guard Films and Videos from Central Europe, Cinema Toldi, Budapešť
Avant-guard Films and Videos from Central Europe, Lux Centre, Londýn
Katarína Rusnáková, História a teória mediálneho umenia na Slovensku
Milena Bartlová, Anna Daučíková, Narodila jsem se až ve čtyřiceti (S Annou Daučíkovou o videu, Rusku a politickém umění), Art + Antiques, 3,2015/03/09,24-31
Vendula Fremlová, Hidden Publics, Ateliér, čtrnáctideník současného výtvarného umění
Valoch Jiří , Téma naší výstavy je zdánlivě jednoduché..., Písmo v obraze