Download magazine FILES

Even before seeing the art of Tereza Fišerová, I had already encountered the work of her boyfriend, the artist Evžen Šimera, with she later collaborated. The artistic duo of Šimera-Fišerová incorporates audiences’ physical movement through the exhibition, although this is a theme that Fišerová has worked with since beginning her studies, first under Adéla Matasová in Pilsen, and later during her master’s studies in the Supermedia Studio under Federico Díaz and David Kořínek in Prague.

The fascinating thing about Fišerová’s approach is the tension between the simplicity of form (whose origins can be found in her quiet nature and contemplative approach to the world) and her level of personal engagement – the extent to which she exposes herself through her work, even if this is not always apparent at first glance, as with the installation Parallel Universe, created for City Gallery Prague’s Start Up exhibition series. She did so explicitly in her performance entitled Performance (2010) and in Do Not Disturb My Circles (2012), where she explored the limits of her physical and mental abilities and “whipped” herself towards a better performance by competing with objects of artistic quality, for instance trying to “out-yell” or “outrun” them. The artworks’ role as trainer or coach was a beautiful metaphor for the tenacious relationship between the artist and his or her work. Although the performance pieces were turned in on themselves, Fišerová’s innate responses remained visible for the audience watching the video (she is usually alone during her performances). The works’ poetics contain something of the intimate, existential, and formally austere performance pieces of the 1970s.

The installation Parallel Universe is based on an optical illusion created using a very subtle artistic approach, and was inspired by an experience from a specific place in Pilsen where an optical illusion created a seemingly different reality. For Start Up, Fišerová has built a door into a neutral white wall with a mirror hidden behind it. She thus manipulates the room’s original architectural layout, transfers the phenomenology of places, and distorts our perception of the world, including other dimensions.

The reflection in the mirror is an echo of several of Fišerová’s earlier works. For example, in her graduation work |AB| |BC| |AC| (2013), she recorded her reflection in a mirror using a camera on a stick for as long as she could hold it up. In the final installation, audiences first saw their own reflection in a mirror and then viewed the video of Fišerová’s performance, shot in the same place at a different time.

Fišerová says that she has no specific theme, but her theme may well be the random situations in which she finds herself and which so captivate her that she tries to sensitively transform them into interactive works of art using a diverse range of media. Most commonly, she chooses to work with video or installations realized in abandoned places. Start Up is one example.

Tereza Fišerová received her bachelor’s degree from the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, where she studied under Adéla Matasová, and earned a master’s degree from Prague’s Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, studying under Federico Díaz and David Kořínek.

The Supermedia Studio at Prague’s Academy of Art, Architecture and Design was founded in 2008 by two artists and friends – Federico Díaz as the studio’s head and David Kořínek as his teaching assistant. The two met at the turn of the millennium at the E-Forum (a parallel event to Forum 2000), which Díaz had co-organized in an attempt at expanding the Forum 2000 conference beyond Prague Castle through the use of online video conferences.

Their collaboration as teachers is thus a natural outgrowth of their similar ways of thinking, for instance in their combination of the virtual and analogue worlds, the conflict between civilization and nature or life and artificiality, and their interest in space as flows of information using the latest technologies. Díaz and Kořínek also worked together within the E AREA art group. Founded by Díaz in 1994, the group brings together artists from various fields in the name of visual activism.

The Studio’s name is a critical response to the omnipresent use of the terms “new media”, “multimedia” and “digital media” in the art world. With its prefix “super” (in the meaning of “above”), supermedia thus rises above the other media. According to Kořínek, the studio’s aim is to provide a forum for creating art that in some way works with electronic media and explores the encounter or conflict between two worlds – virtual space and the physical world made of atoms.

The Studio’s students work with many different media, mostly video, performance art, or installations.

Federico Díaz recently passed his head teaching duties on to David Kořínek so that he could focus on his own work, which he alternates between New York and Prague. The studio’s new assistant teacher is artist and curator Milan Mikuláštík, a member of the artists’ collective Guma Guar – a “rival” to Kořínek’s own art group, Rafani.