About the projectReport a problem
Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Jana Kapelová

First Name
Birth place
Place of work
new media
political art
CSU Library
↳ Find in the catalogue

About artist

Jana Kapelová works with elements of cultural activism, stylisation into roles and models of participation. The procedures and themes of her work can be defined as “fluid artistic practice”. She pours herself from one theme to another in response to the current conditions in which she finds herself. This does not so much mean psychological introspection as the de/construction of the “social body” of the individual. She observes the roles that we play within society and the models that consciously or unconsciously influence and form our personal lives. On a general level Kapelová’s work can be identified with the message: “We are the institutions!” She encourages us not to accept conventions automatically but to subject them to conscious analysis, to perceive their historical basis and to attempt to find a personal approach to them. 


Free Working Time

In her project Volný pracovný čas / Free Working Time (from 2011) Kapelová put a group of non-artists and amateur artists together. At the final exhibition, members of the group presented works they had created during their working hours without the knowledge of their employers. The artists, who often remained anonymous for fear of losing their jobs had “stolen” time for themselves in order to satisfy their own requirements. This was a small personal victory against the system. 


Moja pamäť je zrkadlo, na ktoré mi dýchli / My Memory is a Mirror They Breathed Upon

Kapelová returned to the question of self-realisation instead of soul-destroying work in another of her works entitled My Memory is a Mirror They Breathed Upon (2012) inspired by a story from the artist’s mother, Hana Kapelová. In the face of her parents’ concerns Hana decided to leave a well paid but boring job in a factory and become a private tutor. Jana Kapelová plays her mother and presents a prosaic poem within the framework of a small staged work. An imaginary dialogue arises between the two women, while homage is paid to one life decision. 


Nie my žijeme v tomto priestore, ale tento priestor žije v nás / We are not living in this space, but this space lives within us

While My Memory is a Mirror They Breathed Upon is an imaginary dialogue between mother and daughter, We are not living in this space, but this space lives within us (2013–2014, television production) is concerned with the general principle of the making visible of social codes.    

Three characters hold a conversation regarding the state of art and art criticism in a building furnished in the style of the 1980s. What they say is made up of quotes from Slovak films of the 1980s during the period of “normalisation”. The video highlights the joint inter-generational code of communication and the fact that the current generation in their thirties use the same formulations as its predecessors. 

The artist draws on the fact that not a single film was censored in Slovakia from 1980 onward. It was in fact auto-censorship that deleted any “incorrect” content or speech. Nevertheless, this contributed to a form of below-the-radar criticism by means of the decoding of the information presented to audiences. 


Kunsthalle - súhrnná správa o stave ustanovizne / Kunsthalle – general report on the state of the institution

The project Kunsthalle – general report on the state of the institution (201 –2012) is a comprehensive analysis of the Slovak art scene. The final output was broadcast on six channels in the House of Art in Bratislava (the Kunsthalle of the title) and presented the staged dialogue of eighteen protagonists from the Ministry of Culture or artistic activities attempting over the last fifteen years to see the creation of a Slovak Kunsthalle. Their statements are interwoven and the often absurd monologues of individual actors are edited so as to create cycles of dialogues, an imaginary documentary on the frustrating, fruitless negotiations, personal disputes and disappointments that the efforts to improve the cultural infrastructure resulted in (Kapelova, 2014). The activism contained in this work is double-edged in character. It offers the art community the possibility of self-knowledge while also highlighting its inability to reach agreement.


Čekanie na materiál / Waiting for the Material

This work again thematizes the possibilities of creative self-realisation and generational dialogue on the boundary of the wider social-political context. 

The main protagonist of the short video and the collaborator on the architectural element of the installation is the artist’s father, Ján Kapel. Over the course of four decades he has been transforming the interior of the family’s house in Trnava. The video is conceived as a profile of the artist and his work. It is striking not only for the editing of shots of the artist speaking and the gallery of reconstructed parts of his work, but by the gradual exposure of the traces, namely signatures and dates, relating to various phases of his work (Nóra Růžičková, 2014). Ján Kapel’s DIY strategy was motivated by the lack of materials under the previous regime. In contemporary society his creativity is nourished by the culture of surplus. He again, on the other hand, has opted for the alternative and creates exclusively from what others have discarded.

In many respects in her search for freedom Jana Kapelová is motivated to improve not only the conditions of her own life but the culture industry as a whole. This adventure does not involve simply banging her head against a brick wall, but critical negotiation, dialogue, and severe doubts regarding one’s confidence in the creative potential of an individual. 

Kapelová’s work could perhaps be categorised as involving a type of art-based research. It uses dialogue, different types of analysis and the reconstruction of social situations. The role of the artist as a watchful observer of situations, intolerant of stereotypes, is important. At the same time one of the prized assets of this type of art is the ability to communicate not only within an art scene but outside of it too. 

Author of the annotation
Jana Písaříková



Vysoká škola výtvarných umení, Ateliér videa a multimediálnej tvorby doc. Anny Daučíkovej, akad. soch., doktorandské štúdium 
Škola konceptuálneho umenia prof. Miloša Šejna, Akadémia výtvarných umení v Prahe, dvojsemestrálny študijný pobyt 
Fakulta výtvarných umení, Akadémia umení v Banskej Bystrici, Katedra intermédií a audiovizuálnej tvorby, Ateliér integrovaného výskumu doc. Miroslava Nicza, akad. mal., magisterské štúdium 
Pedagogická fakulta, Trnavská univerzita v Trnave, aprobácia slovenský jazyk – výtvarná výchova, magisterské štúdium 

ICPA, New York, USA
Stredoslovenská galéria, Branská Bystrica
K.A.I.R., Kišinev, Moldavsko 


Cena Oskára Čepana, víťazka

Tatranský tiger, víťazka

Essl Art Award CEE, finalistka 

Egoart, finalistka
Member of art groups not included in ARTLIST.
iniciatíva Dvadsať rokov od Nežnej neprebehlo


Solo exhibitions
Podozrivý voľný čas (s Radkom Mačuhom), Open Gallery, Bratislava, SK

Kunsthalle – súhrnná správa o stave ustanovizne, Dom umenia, Bratislava, SK
Situácia (s Magdalénou Kuchtovou), projekt Performance group Miry Gáberovej, Bratislava, SK

Voľný pracovný čas, Galerie u dobrýho pastíře, Brno, ČR

Na vlastnú zodpovednosť, room 19_21, Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SK

Kapela – Dudáš - Núdzové východiská (s Jurajom a Ivanom Dudáš), Múzeum Vojtecha Löfflera, Košice, SK
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Families of Objects, Abrons Art Center, New York, USA
Families of Objects, Random Institute, Zurich, CH
The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people, Studió Galéria, Budapest, HU
Beyond the red lines, Studio / FKSE, Budapest, HU
Art Has No Alternative, tranzit.sk, Bratislava, SK

Kdo na moje místo, Plato, Ostrava, ČR
Prvý človek bol umelec, Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SK
Cena Oskára Čepana - výstava finalistov, Nová synagóga/Kunsthalle, Žilina, SK
Potreba praxe, tranzit dielne, Bratislava, SK
Vše co zbylo, Trafačka, Praha, ČR

Kontextuálne umenie, Galéria Cypriána Majerníka, Bratislava, SK
Sociální design, Galerie Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem, ČR
Nultá výstava, Kunsthalle LAB, Bratislava, SK
Beyond the red lines, Oberliht Association, Kišinev, MDL
Praguebiennale VI., Nákladové nádraží Žižkov, Praha, ČR
Essl Art Award CEE 2013, Galéria Médium, Bratislava, SK
Entry code, Galéria AVU, Prague, Praha, ČR
“Nikdy nikoho ničemu neučil přesto jsme ho nazývali učitelem”, Eliadova knižnica, Divadlo Na zábradlí, Praha, ČR

The Real Emotions, Muzeul Naţional de Artă Cluj, RO
Creative Unit, Galéria Médium, Bratislava, SK
Arteterapia, Galéria Medium, Bratislava, SK
Lovci v raji, Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava, SK

Re:public space, Festival REFRESH +89, publicartová výstava, Košice, SK
Velocypedia, Galerie NTK, Národní technická knihovna, Praha, ČR
Sedmikrásky a klony, Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava, SK

TINA B, Mobilnale 2, publicartový projekt v autách, Praha, ČR
Exposition Projection, public-artový projekt v metre, Paríž, FR

Causa corporalis, Stredoslovenská galéria, Banská Bystrica, SK
Nomad Space, Barbakan, Banská Bystrica, SK
Erased Walls, Freies Museum Berlin, Berlin, DE
Bienále mladého umenia Skúter II., Galéria Jána Koniarka, Trnava, SK
Praguebiennale IV., Karlín Hall, Praha, ČR
V. Zlínsky salón mladých, Krajská galéria výtvarného umenia, Zlín, ČR
Web-site-specific, Bunker, Nitrianska galéria, Nitra, SK

Videoabend, Galéria Koloni, Dresden, DE
VIDEOSET 1, Stanica, Žilina, SK

Skúter II., bienále mladého slovenského umenia, Elektráreň Tatranskej galérie, Poprad, SK
Dort oder dort, Neuenkirchen, DE
Skúter, bienále mladého slovenského umenia, Galéria Jána Koniarka, Trnava, SK
ne)MOC/(sub)DOMINANCIA, Štátna galéria, Banská Bystrica, SK

Re-prezentácia, Galéria mladých, Nitra, SK
Not just one room but manny, galéria AVU, Praha, ČR
OFF ART, Galéria Solway, Krakov, PL
Vafex live, festival Multiplace 5, Stanica, Žilina, SK
Entry point, Open gallery, Bratislava, sK
Members club, Nood Gallery, Praha, ČR

Egoart, Nood Gallery, Praha, ČR
Galéria Jána Koniarka, Trnava 
Other realisations


NIPAF, International Asian Festival Of Performance, Tokyo, Nagoya, Gyoda, Nagano, JP


Iné projekty: 

od 2010
iniciatíva Dvadsať rokov od Nežnej neprebehlo, iniciatíva zameraná na problémy kultúrnej politiky na Slovensku 


od 2009
Artyčok TV, redaktorka (2009–2014 koordinátorka slovenskej sekcie) 


Hore bez (s Omarom Mirzom), relácia o súčasnom výtvarnom umení



MAJLINGOVÁ, Z. Je pre mňa doležité nebrať témy, ktoré reflektujem, fatálne, ale vnášať do nich prvky irónie, satiry a v poslednej dobe i trápnosti. Jana Kapelová v rozovore so Zuzanou L. Majlingovou, In Profil, ISSN 1335-9770, 2014, roč. 11, č. 4, s. 110-128

MAJLINGOVÁ, Z. Umelkyňa s aktivistickým naturelom, In Profil, ISSN 1335-9770, 2014, roč. 11, č. 4, s. 86-109

RUŽIČKOVÁ, N. Čo sa skrýva pod parochňou, In Kloaka, ISSN 1338-5054, 2013, roč. 4, č. 2, s. 34-41

GERŽOVÁ, J. Jana Kapelová. In Artdispecing.cz [online]. 11/2013 Dostupné na internete: artdispecing.sk

STEJSKALOVÁ, T. Emancipace od práce. In A2, ISSN 1803-6635, roč. 9, č. 12/13, s. 10 

ŠTRBÁKOVÁ, L., JELEMENSKÝ, P. Kunsthalle – súhrnná správa o stave ustanovizne. In Ateliér, ISSN 1210-5236, 2013, roč. 26, č. 2, s. 2 

MEGYEŠI, P. Poučná kapitola z dejín neexistujúcej inštitúcie. In Artalk.cz [online]. 15/1/2013, Dostupné na internete: www.artalk.cz/2013/01/15/poucna-kapitola-z-dejin-neexistujucej-institucie-dejiny-neexistujucej-institucie/ 

PÍSAŘÍKOVÁ, J. Jana Kapelová Galerie u dobérho pastýře Brno. In FlashArt, ISSN 1336-9644, 2012, roč. 6., č. 25, s. 59 


Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2018
This website is archived by National Library of the Czech Republic within the project WebArchiv