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Anna Daučíková

Anna Daučíková entered the Slovak art scene in the 1990s as one of the first artists to deal directly with feminist issues and the queering gaze in post-socialist rhetoric, being “interested in casting doubts on gender stereotypes, or on white spots in issues of gender and sexuality.”[1] Having lived in Moscow during the 1980s, where she was concerned with abstract painting and then began to photograph daily life and its people in the late Soviet era, her approach to gender theory came together mainly after her return from there. It was in 1993 that Daučíková, as an artist and activist, became involved in Slovakia’s first feminist magazine Aspekt (which was meant to be a joint Czech-Slovak endeavor), publishing texts by international authors and theorists who took a clear stance against any notions of heteronormativity.

Having been active mainly in the video medium since mid-1990s, Daučíková has opposed the misogynist stance prevalent in her country. Her output addresses the nuances of perceiving the Other in female relations as well as how artistic manipulations are possible with respect to bodily desire and gender-coded situations, placing doubts about sexuality on the same level as doubts about political demeanor.

 

Daučíková’s videos frequently show extreme close-ups of body parts and bodily gestures; such images are full of sensuality and often leave it up to the viewers to discern their contents before an overall shot of the scene is revealed. Quite often, these scenes have no explicit gender roles attributed to them—for which reason it is unclear whether the actions take place within a heteronormative matrix or in an LGBTIQ context. Many scenes leave it up to the beholder to determine specific gender relations. Through this openness, Daučíková’s works represent acts that are emancipatory in a political sense, as they do not presuppose any sexual or gender-specific model of behavior. They operate independently of any fixed notions of sexuality and free the body from any physical or mental restrictions.

 
W.S.

[1] Jana Geržová. “Art and the Question of Gender in Slovak Art.” in: Gender Check: a Reader: Art and Theory in Eastern Europe. Bojana Pejić (ed.), Cologne: Walther König, 2010, p. 317.

 

 

 

1950, Bratislava / SK, at that time ČSSR

 

 

 

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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