Adéla Součková - What is the Matter Thoughts Are Made From?
By means of her exhibition, Adéla Součková addresses the eternal theme of the relationship between human subjectivity, identity, and corporeality. She raises questions that resemble a philosophical inquiry, a Zen Buddhist koan, or questions of a child – "What is the matter thought are made from?" and "Do you believe in your own truth?" – and she encourages us to look for answers inside of our bodies. For her, the bodies are not passive things, as we are led to believe by the Cartesian notion of the thinking subject. They are not a neutral tabula rasa, and cannot be imagined outside the systems of culturally based interpretations. Thoughts are born in the body as well as belief in one's own truth. This truth, or in other words the sense of one's own value and meaning, is based on one’s identity that in turn relates to what body, family, class, ethnicity, and culture were we born with.
The body is not simply given, unchanging, and pre-cultural. Even before our arrival to the world, our physical body is marked by the concept of the body. We understand the body through culture, and culture is reciprocally determined by the nature of our bodies. Therefore, the process of "conceptualization" or "construction" of bodies cannot be explained by the relationship between the biological "base" and social "superstructure". Producers already include produced and vice versa. The entanglement of body and culture can be compared to the Möbius' tape, whose structure overcomes the dualism of up and down, heads and tails, inside and outside.
Indirectly, the artist also points out grave consequences of the body-mind split. She emphasizes that the instrumentalizing of bodies and nature, so typical of our Western civilization, leads us to ever more rabid exploitation of human and natural resources. It is precisely because of this concept – in which the body and nature are viewed as an object to be explored and controlled, or as a tool that must be optimized to increase its profit-generating productivity – we find ourselves at the brink of a global disaster.
About the Artist:
In her work, Adéla Součková often connects various media (painting, drawing, performance) and creates multi-layered works related to the issue of human existence and the relationships between the nature and culture. She is currently nominated for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award.
Curator: Zuzana Štefková
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Jindřich Chalupecký Society.
Photos of the exhibition at Artwall: Martin Micka