Five Questions for Martina Růžičková

Interview by Sorina Neaga

Martina Růžičková is the artist in residence* at the Czech Centre. Martina was born in in Veľký Krtíš, Slovakia. Since 2010 she has been studying Fine Art in Brno, Prague and London and will continue with her PhD at the  Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno. Her research topic is Lifestyle for interspecies collectivism. The main aim is to establish a long-term collaboration of her as an artist and experts from various fields in order to develop the complex lifestyle for coexistence of human and non-human entities.

Q1: To begin with, please tell me something about your last work. What was its aim and how would you like it to be perceived by those who look at it?

My last work is a collaborative MA project Polyamory Design Unit that includes contribution from an architect, a graphic designer, a product designer, a performer and a philosopher**.  It may work out as a first sketch of my PhD thesis. The main aim was to create presentation of a fully valid and ready-to-realize architectural project. It represents a conversion of my art university’s building into a housing unit. It was designed with a certain interest in the coexistence of human and non-human entities in polyamorous relationships. The coexistence is present in a modeled future of fully automated physical and mental work, in which the idea of universal basic income is implemented. Each floor of the unit is dedicated to either common infrastructure or to a certain reactionary position towards implied conditions. The final presentation was intended to be a fluid, catchy environment equipped with comfy furniture. You were able to perceive the whole installation that included the 3D visualizations, post-produced floor plans, notes on the walls and also the public program, (lecture, performance), from an individual position embedded in a communal space. I paid a certain attention to the fair monetary evaluation of collaborators in accordance to their own needs as it’s not a common practice in contemporary art world. It’s important to say that without the grant support and extra money from my budget the project couldn’t be sufficiently realized.

Q2: From your point of view, what is the meaning and role of art in a society?

The artist is an initiator, socialite. It has the ability to move from the standpoint of instrumental thinking towards speculative horizons and hyperstitions. It seems that millions of approaches towards artistic practice exist nowadays and I wish that to be the present state of affair. Obviously it’s more complicated than that. Artists have become professionals and professionals are supposed to be managers. We have to become managers overwhelmed by our personal, intimate expressions in order to redirect instrumental thinking towards a progressive future. In the age of automation, such expressions will remain as the gravestones of human supremacy.

Q3: Can you tell me something about your next project?

Back home I’m up to concentrate on my PhD thesis development thus there is a lot of research and collab establishing in front of me. I’m looking forward to an intensive time with texts by CCRU, Nick Land, Laboria Cuboniks, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Keller Easterling, Radovan Richta and Alexander Bogdanov among many others. I’m experiencing a switch as my PhD tutor is a graphic designer and I’ll be working with his students a bit. I’ll try to focus on tension and intersection between contemporary fields of fine art and design, instrumentality and expression.

Next year I’m planning an exhibition with an artist Max Lysáček, where a new high-tech product we’re currently developing will be presented among the outcome of my current Bucharest residency and many other thingy.

Q4: Who are the artists that you are following right now and why?

Oh, it’s hard to mention just a few, so it won’t be super-inclusive and “to follow” is actually a contemporary abbreviation of “to like”. Anyway, when we stick to the term follow – Diann Bauer, co-author of Xenofeminist manifesto, comes to my mind at first stance. I appreciate her ability to bring together professionals from a range of fields in the context of art’s purported freedom and to organize summits and exhibitions as outcomes of such practices. She uses art practice as a speculative filter through which realism and science could be further developed.

Recently I had a chance to meet and co-curated the exhibition of core.pan – a duo from France. Usually they combine means of high-end technology and current development of AI in order to create immersive, futuristic but possible configuration of natural surfaces. I value their positive approach and optimism towards tech-development, even though it may arise a lot of critical footnotes.

My favs back home are Anna Slama / Marek Delong for their weirdo expressive objects that arise from subjective research of past time histories and grow up to offline sensible modes. I’d love to mention here also Nik Timková – her touchy textile objects and collages and Jakub Jansa – for his complex projects tied with sophistically built brand identity that include self-development program Spiritual Fitness and the latest off-off-space Club of Opportunities that took place for one night in Prague bowling club.

I’d like to honorably mention a few collectives/platforms based in Czech Republic here. Mothers Artlovers, a Czech artist-parent supportive group, though I’m not fully satisfied with its title that mentions mothers only. BCAA system is a Prague based platform that regularly broadcast dj streams, talks, virtual gallery views and publish podcasts. Another collective associated with local club scene is BLAZING BULLETS. I adore them for their hyper-inclusive, anti-bro culture attitudes.

My Bucharest favs are artist Tudor Ciurescu (@tvdor) and fashion designer Andrei Dinu.

Q5: Name three places that an artist who comes to Bucharest shouldn’t miss.

Parcul Natural Vacaresti, Moxa20, Art Café dining-hall.

You can follow Martina on her site, Facebook page and Istangram

* Martina’s residency was supported by the Ministry of Culture Czech Republic and Arts and Theatre Institute.

**Polyamory Design Unit Collaborators: Šimon Bařák (exhibition architecture, graphic design), Lukáš Likavčan (lecture, mural text), Marek Lužný (performance), Ondřej Mohyla (architectural project – 3D visualizations, plans), Jana Trundová (furniture design).