Alžběta Bačíková’s current exhibition is a further product of her interest in the documentary portrait format and thus loosely builds upon her previous works. This time, the author has started a search for the recently disappeared prominent Eastern European ceramist and interior designer J. B. Bačíková reveals a glimpse into her life only in hints, which is why she publishes only the initials of her name. The identity of J.B. is gradually revealed against the background of a kind of spa road movie, as this artist designed the furnishings of many spas from the late 1960s onwards and some of her interior designs and sculptures can still be seen today. Several of them date back to the recent past. This short film traces her footsteps back to 2015 when the aged artist was definitively declared missing.
However, J.B.’s fate is not the only “story” line; the author also reveals her position as the narrator behind the camera. The “detective” line of the film is interspersed with poetic shots of shabby and renovated spa realia while playing with the blurring of the line between documentary and fiction. The author consciously constructs the biographical narrative as a legend, and thus the reconstruction of biography becomes at the same time its deconstruction. Several collaborating artists are also invited to work on the individual components of the film and exhibition, contributing to the sophistication of the portrait of the personality under scrutiny.
“In terms of its continuity with art history, the script is loosely inspired by biographies of artists for whom going into seclusion represented a specific kind of revolt against the social conditions that directly influenced their work.” (A. B.)
Alžběta Bačíková (*1988, Hodonín) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno (2014) and is currently studying in the PhD program. Her work focuses on moving images, which she subjects to various experiments and explores their limits. Together with Anna Remešová, she has been running etc. gallery in Prague since 2017.
The project was created by:
Exhibition architecture: Šárka Svobodová and Jaroslav Sedlák
Installation: Jan Lidmila, Jan Machýček
Painting: Martina Smutná
Florist: Lucie Králíková
Girlfriend: Zoja Mikotová
Music: Lucie Vítková
Camera: Alžběta Bačíková, Jakub Jurásek
Sound: Jakub Jurásek
Main shooting locations: Kúpele Trenčianské Teplice, Městské lázně v Zábrdovicích – Brno
Script consultant: Anne-Claire Barriga
Other locations: Státní léčebné lázně Janské lázně, Lázně Běloves, Lázně Darkov, Vrbenského lázně v Ústí nad Labem.
The film was made with the support of Artyčok TV and the Arts and Theatre Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and ESAC in Český Krumlov