Johana Střížková graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (studios of Miloš Šejn, Veronika Bromová and Jiří Příhoda) in 2011. During 2008, she went on a scholarship to the Cooper Union School in New York. The work of Johana Střížková can be categorized as intermedia art. As she says herself, her work is based on “creating something from nothing”. She applies her interest in trivialities, intimacy and minimisation of forms. She loosely moves through the media of performance, video art and object. She perceives the human body as an instrument of visual and non-verbal communication. At the same time, she works with it as an asexual universe. Her work has visible elements of a vicious circle, which, in combination with emotions make up the essence of her creative expression. Daily reality is an inspiration for her primarily with its repetition. She successfully recycles objects taken from the real world into artistic objects, the artistic outcome of which is often a photograph. Abstract positions of her objects are visible also in her performances and video production. She often substitutes an object with the human body. In her videos, she works with alternating static and dynamic scenes. Movement is based on the artist’s interest in dance, from which she draws rhythm and choreography. Through repetition she works with the loss of a message in objects taken from the daily use, as well as in the human body embedded in a staged situation, place and time. She amplifies the intangible tension by alternating tension and calmness.
At the exhibition of the graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in 2011, she captivated with her independent installation on the second floor of the Karlín hall. She presented herself with objects and videos that dominated with a strange naturalness of things and situations. The artist put her videos in contrast with objects taken from the daily use. These ready-mades were selected by Johana Střížková on the basis of their obsolete aesthetical function. These objects, in their minimalist form, triviality and simplicity, resonated in contrast with the industrial environment of the Karlín hall – for example, the white toothbrush with excessively long bristles, or a video capturing a woman playing an organ, where one could hear only the sound of the organ keys being hit. In her videos she also worked with fragments of the human body. This shifted her whole installation to an abstract level, which evoked all sorts of associations and interpretations in the viewers. Her interest in the abstract dimension is amplified in the work of Johana Střížková by the performance media, which works with the phenomenon of uniqueness, variability and fleetingness.
In 2012, she worked with the phenomenon of a static and moving painting in her Situation 17 in the Prague Pavilon Gallery. She interconnected a painting, which was not her work, with the form of a performance, where she balanced herself on the top edge of the painting. The overall outcome was supposed to evoke in the viewer an impression of a statue coming to life, in which the painting played the role of a prop. She presented herself as an object here. This work also illustrates the artist’s interest in the clash of classical and new media. The naturalness of things enchanted Johana Střížková also at her study stay in Mexico City in 2013. She was fascinated by the phenomenon of beautifying within the male world. The male principle was evident in her choice of the subject of hairdressers and their customers. The issue of hair and haircuts has been inspirational for Johana Střížková for some time now. In her work Oscar, exhibited in the Ferdinand Baumann Gallery at the beginning of 2014, she emphasized an intimate dialogue of two men – a hairdresser and his customer, in the form of a video. She also worked here with the moment of a ritual. She applied, once again, ready-mades that were based on the Mexico environment and related to the beautifying of a male. In Střížková’s presentation the objects were turned into different contexts in the form of artistic objects and they were represented by photographs at the exhibition. The whole installation was concluded by photographs of public transportation buses in Mexico, which have bizarre decorations. The background of these photographs reveals the aesthetical principle having the purpose of emphasizing the actual distinctiveness. These photographs can be perceived as imaginary portraits of personalities. Inspiration in everydayness is important for Johana Střížková’s work which she can remold well into a creative testimony.
Lenka Sýkorová: Johana Střížková. In: Flash Art CZ/SK, No 30, January-April 2014, s. 48
2014 Oscar, Galerie Ferdinanda Baumanna, Praha