Eva Jiricka’s works are characterized by conceptual thinking within which she oscillates at the edges of various genres and media. The main issue thematized in many of her works is understanding others and entering the spaces of their minds. Such approaching an individual is then confronted with her own perspective. Yet she leaves it open enough for the spectators’ points of view and perception. Concerning her way of communication – meeting others, asking them, experiencing other than common contact in certain situations – the form she uses most frequently is site-specific video-performance. She “integrates” in a certain way into the location where her projects are performed, merging with the society or people. The locations where her artistic interventions are set are frequently, but not necessarily, public spaces – streets, shopping centres, galleries, nature. They are places where memories and paths of individuals strange to each other meet.
Jiricka searches for the features common for both her and other people’s mentality at different levels: starting with surrounding oneself with objects of our common experience (her work “Painting 80 Pieces”/2006 – the exhibition of long rows of wall light switches from the socialist period), through common national identity (“To Reside”/2007 – she addressed people in streets in a reportage way, asking them about what a typical Czech or Slovak is like), up to similar patterns of learned behaviour and established cultural relations (installation “On a bed sheet”/2007 – she tied sheets into a rope and hung it down from the tower window of a castle used for artist residencies, by which she invoked the association to fairy tale motifs).
An interesting feature of some of her video-performances is her striving to control the performance with the aim to make people face the situations when they are manipulated into certain behaviour without them knowing exactly why. The resulting order is shown in the final video when seen as a whole. This is obvious in the works “Sitting Order”/2006 (“I interfere in the constituted seating order in public transport. I intervene in the current arrangement by ordering the passengers to change seats.), “Gratis Punch”/2005 (punch was offered for free to people at Christmas street market, right next to the stalls selling punch), “360ş” (she ordered a bus with unsuspecting passengers to turn around by 360 degrees with the aim to destroy a small flower bed in the street and get a destructive ornament made by the bus tyres) or “A Ride Along Bahnhoffstrasse”/2008 (“I hired a woman to carry me on her back from the railway station to the lake and back. The woman asked random passers-by to help her. I was interested in the closest possible contact between me and the person carrying me.”)
Naturally, one of the directions of her attempts to understand people is the relation between the world of art, or artists, and those who approach art from the side of ‘laics’, i.e. spectators. Merging or, on the contrary, strict differentiation of these two poles – give rise to the confrontation disclosing certain questions, which is the phenomenon that Jiricka refers to – the lack of discussion on certain issues. In her work “Eyes Like Diamonds”/2009 she recorded three elderly ladies visiting a gallery and their reactions to it; at the exhibition “What You Didn’t Know About Jelení” she invited two psychotronic people who were expected to define the energies in the space of the gallery; during the performance “Vrom vrom, don’t wonder”/2009 she filled tanks with petrol for free, the receivers of this benefit could only be artists. In the project for the Lidove Noviny Gallery/2007 she wrote down a message to the readers to make them start thinking about common discrepancy in contemporary art – which is the fact that an author has to have a “common job” to live on to be able to engage at the same time in their profession they had studied for long years – being an “artist.”
Participation in Film Festivals:
Festival International SIGNES DE NUIT,Paris
Good night kids, Red House Center, Sofia
Festival Otrlého diváka Praha
54. Internationale kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, DE
27th Uppsala International ShortFilm Festival,Sweden
Filmový Festival Karlovy Vary, český videoart
Film Shadow Festival, Amsterdam