musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux


11.02.2022 -> 29.05.2022

Eva Koťátková

My Body is not an Island

In her work, Eva Koťátková combines sculptures, objects, collages, costumes and texts into vast, playful, poetic and colorful installations, to suggest how deeply our personal lives are swayed by our social environment. This sway is materialized by complex machineries that constrain the body whilst holding possibilities for its transformation. Taking its cue from surrealist poetry, theatrical devices, psychoanalysis, and certain forms of experimental education, Koťátková’s work develops in  tight connection with narrativity – a narration in fragments, scattered across the exhibition like so many hints to decipher; a narration that refers to dreams and the unconscious as powerful conduits for creative energy.

My Body is not an Island expands and elaborates upon issues that have been present in the artist’s work for many years. This project, specially conceived to be shown in the nave at the Capc, is shaped like a gigantic body, half-fish, half-human; it both contains and mediates for a myriad of stories, whose entrancing litany will echo throughout the whole exhibition space. With its inscrutable, troubling identity, its way of unfolding like an immersive landscape, accessible to any visitor willing to lend an ear to its many stories, this fragmented body also holds within its belly an impressive assortment of boxes and crates from which beast-like and human-like creatures seem poised to escape. Bodies in flight, transient and transitory, they refuse to be named, cannot be ascribed any label; bodies that won’t keep quiet, they freely express what they feel and what they dream of.

The recurring motif of the crate indirectly refers to the history of the Entrepôt Lainé, which was previously used as a warehouse for colonial goods, whilst also taking advantage of the object’s ambivalence – as a symbol both of mobility and movability from one place or state to another, and of normativity and codification, typifying our urging desire to put everything into neat little boxes, to contain, as it were, our fear of chaos. The installation proposes a platform opened in empathy to those whose voices – human, vegetal, animal – are reduced to silence, whose condition is challenged, and who undergo forced labelling and stigmatisation.

Every Sunday during the course of the exhibition, My Body is not an Island will be dwelled-in and activated by performance artists, who will share with the visiting public the different stories it contains: that of a child bullied at school, of a snake shedding its skin, or of a bush torn away from its native surroundings to be replanted in a residential suburb. The installation will function as a platform for exchanges and discussion where meetings with an array of specialists – in underwater biology, animal behaviour and philosophy – and associations fighting for the dignity of all beings will be proposed. As a whole, the spirit of the installation seems to rest upon the cry for life uttered by one of its protagonists: “I dream of a body bestowed with many skins.”


Curator: Sandra Patron


Thursday 10 February at 7 pm



-> Nave of the Capc
-> Disabled access
-> Price: 7€ ; 4€ (reduced rate)

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