Woman with a Blender

Anna Hulačová

Woman with a Blender, 2020

Part of a new group of sculptures produced in the context of the Next Shift exhibition (2020), Woman with a Blender, depicts an anonymous female figure, holding on to a kitchen device. With a blender in one hand and an orange in the other, we are faced with the theme of everyday life, old as art itself. A theme characteristic for its universality, which can be found in the art of Antiquity as much as in the art of the 20th century inter-war period, socialist realism or contemporary art for that matter. The sculpture follows an automatized choreography, resembling themes of industrialization, factory labor, mechanical reproduction, and technological progress, motives, characteristic for inter-war figuration, and socialist sculpture produced in Czechoslovakia between the 1950’s and the 1980’s. Stripped of its identity through the absence of the face, in this case replaced by a drawing that resembles the features of a split orange, the sculpture translates a heightened sense of robotic behavior, merging together its multiple identities. Identity is a crucial subject for Hulačová, namely in relation to her understanding of the contemporary man within the digital era, whose character remains ambiguous as re-shaped by the virtual reality distinctive for our present. In the shape of a soccer shoe, a symbol of leisure, but also a male attribute within the domestic context, the shadow, supposedly cast by the figure, generates a feeling of confusion and ambiguity while creating a silent commentary on traditional role division within the family nucleus, heightened by the somewhat submissive pose of the sculpture. Trapped in daily life automatization, the sculpture is absent of social relations and interpersonal interaction. The machine, in this case, a blender, becomes an extension of the body, rendering the role of the master and the servant ambiguous. Insinuating a sense of madness and delirium, the work questions our technology-driven present through the tropes of the domestic environment.

Anna Hulačová has exhibited her work at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Netherlands; Baltic Triennial, Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius; Prague City Gallery; Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, Prague; Biennale Gherdeina, Ortisei, Italy; National Gallery, Trade Fair Palace, Prague; K11 MUSEA, Hong Kong; MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporaine, France; West Bohemian Gallery, Pilsen, Czech Republic; East Slovak Regional Gallery, Košice, Slovakia; CEAAC, Strasbourg, France, and Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg, among others.