ARTIST PROFILE

Fastrová Pošová

  • Czech Republic (b. 1985 in Prague)
  • Currently in PRAGUE, Czech Republic.
  • Barbora Fastrová and Johana Pošová have worked together since 2014. Their work isn't specified by any media, but they repeatedly work with “cheap” materials. Strong visuality of each material refers to their interest in nature and the environment.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Sum up the main character of your work, your long-term interests and themes.

In our work we used to thematise the contrast between the two worlds. The controlling and the coalescing. We found interest in the phenomenon of artificial environments that are mimicking distant places and are filled with exotic fauna/flora. Our work evolved from narrating the topic to formally blending the two worlds together. Nowadays we focus mainly on producing our art projects ideally without any ecological footprint. We moved the theme of our exhibitions into the basics of our approach towards the materials.

Describe the context of your work – what are your inspirational sources and theoretical starting points, which artists and tendencies do you consider as referential to your work.


In the beginning of our duo work, we were both touched by visiting the rainforest in South America. For the first time, we as humans from central Europe, whos worst animal enemy is a tick in the grass, were confronted with the force of the undomesticated nature. Since then we started to think about the different aspects of the relationship between humans and nature.

We are also inspired by cartoons, jokes, fairytalles and myths. We are trying to be funny, but it works only sometimes.


Try to characterize what makes your work specific, wherein lies its force, what makes it different from the work of artists with similar approaches and themes.


 Our sculptures do not look expensive, long-lasting or rigorous, actually quite the opposite - we use temporary "cheap" materials in more or less haphazard manner and we often recycle them. We feel that once the object fulfilled its role it can be used as a base for another. We don't care about immortality of our work and we are not afraid to make mistakes.

 Lately it is with no doubt the radical approach towards addressing the environmental crisis. With our project Cheap Art, instead of pointing out facts on printed paper or tv screens, we make sustainable exhibitions from scratch. We don't use any new materials nor energy sources except human power.

 

What is your work process like? Do you deal with preparation and research? How do you search for your themes? How do you choose the media you work in?

Being a duo our preparation process is quite simple. We talk for hours about what we are passionate or angry about at the moment. What we want to say we yet didn't. That maybe the last time the message wasn't clear and we ought to say it again. Or we just sit and dream together about objects and what would be the best way to bring them alive. Sometimes we are still figuring out what we're doing during the actual work. Sometimes the images in our heads are different and we realise that too late, sometimes we have to negotiate, sometimes we just "make" without even talking about it.

 Most of the times we chose the media of sculpture, but during our almost five years lasting collaboration we slowly moved from only static installations to more performative works. We felt a need to be parts and pieces of the installations.

 

What is your vision for the future? How do you want to develop your work and continue your previous projects/realizations? What is your long-term goal/dream?

Even though we rarely use non-eco friendly materials, lately we've been concerned about using and buying new materials in general and spending energy for creating new works. Last year we started a new project called Cheap Art. We set ourselves several simple rules. Such as not using any power except human power for creating the artworks as well as exhibiting them. We are also using only second hand materials and regulating the advertising of the show. In the first exhibition the power in the gallery was charged from exercise bike cycled by the audience and all the objects were handmade from recycled materials. We will try to follow this manifesto in our future exhibitions.



BIOGRAPHY

Barbora Fastrová's and Johana Pošová's cooperation dates back to 2014's exhibition in Berlínskej model gallery in Prague. Since then, the duo has created multiple exhibitions in the Czech Republic as well as abroad and also participated in a shared residence. They subjected the relation between the nature and the western society. Formally, they do not limit themselves by a specific media but rather select the most suitable method for each project.






BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Love, Sex and Torment

    In a text for the e-flux Journal # 55) Chus Martinez calls art "The Octopus in Love". The undersea creature`s perception, which is often shaped by mythical interpretations, can be seen as a representation of the unknown while simultaneously making us reminiscence of a short summer trip to the seaside and the inevitable craving for a plate of seafood - in a way this field of tension illustrates precisely the ambition of the joint venture of Bára Fastrová and Johana Pošová. The octopus is the only known creature whose brain is located to a large portion in its eight long shoulders, transforming its limbs basically into sensitive thinking tentacles. Without the central nervous system, thoughts and senses are stratified into interconnected parts of a single body.

    Fastrova and Posova have chosen to name their joint presentation platform Life finds a way - iconic catch phrase from the 90`s classic Jurassic Park and originally proclaimed by theory of chaos supporter Malcolm. The century-old question of what "life" can actually be, defines the artist's practice. Life is an octopus in love, and art then forms one of the suckers on her all-embracing tentacles. Life as nature, as culture, as technology, as social exchange. Eventually becoming all-encompassing - without mantinels and hierarchical barriers, as common sense and thinking matrix. In a similar way, the individual practices of both artists are linked to a wide-spread media field covering photography, sculpture, moving images, installation and participative performance.

    The search for the state of our society on the assumption that everything has a common starting point in nature is mixed with the state of a generation full of anxieties at the turn of the digital and analogue age. Although Fastrova’s and Posova’s existence has not been shaped from a very early childhood by touching the smooth surface of the display, they are aware and analyze at every step the possibilities of transforming the globally interconnected Western colonial drive engine of the market economy, turning its back in exaggeration to the blurry accents of personal self-reflection and direct relationships between individuals outside the detached digital field. Maybe therefore they decide to go for possibly banal and crafty techniques, seemingly right out of elemantary school art lessons or a youtube tutorial for creative teenagers. Papier-mâché and silly-looking ceramics ultimately find their complementary counterparts in the use of digital post-produced videos, erotic rituals, or common listening to the natural clock of human hearts.

    The octopus, which for Fastrova and Posova covers many of humanities big questions, at the same time it amalgamates subtle and delicate details that have always been essential to the separate works of both artists into one coherent consciousness. 


    Jen Kratochvíl



PRESS