Katarina Poliacikova

artist in residence May 2015, Slovakia /


To recall things not remembered is not a paradox to be solved through my art work. Being reminded of something one is not familiar with is the point from where my work oscillates, in order to initiate a tension, to provoke questions. Whose memory, whose time? Where do the audience come into the equation?
Though I am interested in authenticity, I emphasize upon and modify tangible fragments of reality as it exists and can be found within my reach. For me a work of art comes into being through the process of shifting this reality. Whether it is a situation I have experienced, a found photograph or a gallery space; the process is alike. It is involved in simplifying reality and it often results in a subtle, yet radical gesture. Regardless of medium the theme remains the same, time and memory run through my work.

“Unfinished lines” is a project I have recently started working on and I’m planning to carry out during my residency at MQ.
As many of my previous artworks, “Unfinished lines” has evolved from found material connected with subjective memory and family history. Once again, I’m digging into the past in order to convey it and create a new context for what might have been lost. The basis for “Unfinished lines” is a folder of drawings my grandmother had created during her high school studies in the 1930’s. These are about 30 pages of different clothes patterns, beautifully executed with incredible precision. For me, this material is interesting not only as it is, but foremost, because these designs had never been realized into real clothes. My grandmother was obliged to quit the school after the second year, because of the family circumstances. These drawings and their unfulfilled potential have triggered my thoughts for some time already and have provoked many questions. My desire is to examine their place nowadays, especially in the context of my artwork. There is a whole constellation of issues I aim to explore: about unrealized lives, carriers, dreams, projects lingering on the shelves. Thinking about the journey across two generations and clothes themselves, our everyday “architecture” which slowly takes the shape of our bodies, while at the same time, we often strive to fit ourselves into them. “Unfinished lines” is about memory which wears off. Through all these gestures I aim to open up a new space and provoke questions, rather than completing my grandmother’s “project.”


Katarina Poliacikova finished her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 2013. She has shown her work in Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Ljublana, among others. In 2011, she was shortlisted for the Oskar Cepan Award (a part of The YVAA awards in Central Europe and the Balkans). She participated in art residency programs in Prague, Budapest, New York, Warsaw and Graz. Her first solo exhibition in USA took place at Open Source Gallery, Brooklyn in 2013.
She lives and works in Bratislava.