Eva Koťátková’s ongoing practice examines ways in which social and institutional structures of everyday life define normative behaviors and how rules and restrictions shape how we think, learn, move, behave and create. Her work is often presented from the viewpoint of the innocent, vulnerable or under-represented.
In the series Stomach of the World, comprised of an expansive mixed media installation and film, the world is experienced from the perspective of children that imagine the world as a body that devours everything around it, including itself; the world is like a snake in whose belly is another snake. “It’s all about the politics of eating or being eaten”.
The exhibition project My Body is not an Island presents a series of stories in an immersive landscape that resembles a fragmented body, whose belly holds an impressive assortment of boxes and crates full of imprisoned fantastical creatures.
In the large-scale installation, created specifically for the nave of CAPC in Bordeaux, Koťátková encourages us to reflect upon the personal narratives of the marginalized, who are too often hidden away and ignored.
Empathy and the ability to understand the situation of others is an ongoing theme in Eva Koťátková’s work.
Her large-scale mixed media installations combine sculpture, collage, drawing, text, sound, performance and scenography in immersive environments as she examines how existing subdivisions and hierarchies, embedded in our society, impact and define our behavior.
In her poetic and often unsettling work, characterized by many associations as well as the legacy of Czech surrealism, Eva Koťátková deals with complex issues in a seemingly playful way, working with a wide range of materials and techniques: installations, photography, video, collage, drawing, performance.
Kotátková's empathy for those who live outside of the normative social order also extends to those afflicted with mental health issues. Between 2011-2015, Kotátková worked with patients from the Maria Gugging Psychiatric Clinic in Austria and the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague, exploring their parallel worlds, which they often were only able to fully express through their art.
Eva Kotátková's work has often focused on exploring how hierarchies and disciplinary systems in institutions, such as schools, are instrumental in determining behavior.
In the series Educational Model, the artist examines the education process and its impact on the formation of the individual and, consequently, of our collective society.