In Haven

Pppilot, České Budějovice, 2022

Curated by Jiří Ptáček
Photo by Mikuláš Mahr

The space-time of fairy tales, as we know and reproduce it in our cultural context, is, among other things, a space-time of social relations and gender norms. For example, when we watch a TV fairy tale in which a prince marries a girl from a farmhouse after having put on the right shoe for her, which she had lost at the ball, where she only got to thanks to a magical gift from her father, etc., we are confronted with the conditioning and rules of the heroine's possible social ascent and her position in the hierarchies of a patriarchal community. The currently unsustainable conditions (not only) in Czech fairy tale worlds lead to efforts for changes that would be more in line with the diverse spectrum of identities and more horizontal arrangement of relationships... and as such are often rejected by more traditionally based audiences.

Unlike previous generations, the younger generation is surrounded by a plethora of fictional worlds in which the most fantastical notions of radically differently ordered systems can be realised (sometimes with their help). Dominika Dobiášová's artwork seems to draw on what the fantasy genre, for example, has to offer, but she inserts into them the contents resulting from the perspective of contemporary feminism, which emphasizes mutual care, nurturing and respect for the diversity of identities. The heroines and heroes of her paintings and objects do not live in idyllic environments and are not exempt* from painful or traumatic experiences. The title of the exhibition, In Haven, must therefore be understood in the tension between reality and imagination, reflection and dreaming, awareness of the state of affairs and possible scenarios for its change.

text by Jiří Ptáček