Interview: Eliska Kovacikova
Luca Curci talks with Eliska Kovacikova during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Eliska Kovacikova is a Slovakian, Stockholm-based visual artist, who explores the theme of space analysis in drawing, printmaking, painting and installation. Content-wise, she attempts to articulate an analytical expression and intends to search the definition of the notions of ‘one’ and ‘several’ in philosophical and psychological contexts. Formally, the artworks focus on spatial analysis, the differences between ‘space in the image’ and ‘image as space’. Kovacikova also investigates how powerful is the image, how does it affect/interrupt its observer and how influential is the representational machinery. Both formally and conceptually, the fragment plays a crucial role in her practice. Being different in scale and displayed in various positions, it aims to manifest the contrast of the order/disorder dichotomy. The composition, as a fragmental scale that contains myriads of elements, reflects the hierarchy system(s), as a mirror of humankind and its presence/absence in the world.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Eliska Kovacikova – Art is a way of expression for me, it’s also my profession and my hobby at the same time. I think and see things through the lens of art. It defines how I communicate with others and myself. It is everything and everywhere, all the time.
LC – What’s your background?
EK – I was born in the middle part of Slovakia, in a small town called Detva. It was the first time, during my studies at secondary school when I discovered printmaking and my practice started to form around it. I continued to study at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, later completed courses and studies in Finland, Russia, Lithuania and at latest in Sweden, Stockholm, where I currently live. Printmaking gave me the habit of experimentation, which advanced my art focus into cross-media practices, such as drawing, painting and site-specific installation.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
EK – The feeling, which I feel every time when I take a piece of charcoal/pencil or pen and start to draw a line on a blank surface. The moment of creation.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
EK – I find inspiration mainly outdoors, specifically in the urban environment. Places rich with movements and dynamics. I mainly focus on negative space, on the energy which surrounds everything. On a more conceptual level, I am pretty much inspired by art theory and philosophy. To be more specific, phenomenology had a particularly important influence on my early works.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
EK – Being an artist nowadays is very challenging in many ways. But at the same time, it provides the liveliness of the creative process, which makes me feel more than fortunate.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
EK – I think my way of expression slightly adjusts with every artwork, which I create. Thinking retrospectively, I can see the continuous shifts between realistic and abstract tendencies that somehow stayed with me until nowadays. However, I still consider myself at the beginning of my artistic path, so let’s see what the future brings.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
EK – When I saw the open call of this year’s festival with the two main sections – ‘Liquid Rooms’ and ‘Future Landscapes’ – awakened my interest and I found it fascinating how much they relate to my own practice. The concept of borders, structures and the human-space-city relation were the core elements for my emerging artwork.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
EK – The painting presented in the exhibition is a part of the “Threshold” series, which circulates around the concepts such as space, perception, reality and authenticity. The series focuses on the importance of the moment: the point of entering into a certain space with our perception, acknowledgment of the borders, lines, shapes and structures. A contemplation of being inside, outside or part of the space simultaneously.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
EK – Definitely. ITSLIQUID GROUP has a great number of exhibition spaces and a very strong online network. The platform organizes several events and festivals, which happen on a regular basis, with a high amount of audience and this could provide great visibility especially for young and emerging artists.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
EK – Absolutely. The whole process from the beginning until the end was very smooth, the communication was very professional and it was a great pleasure to be part of the current Venice International Art Fair.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
EK – ITLIQUID Platform can offer unique opportunities for young, emerging or already established artists. I think it is great that – thanks to the platform’s internationally active presence – the displayed artworks can reach a wider audience.