Katedra fotografie FAMU

Barbara Benish, Personally about her work

Wed. November 2nt 2016 at 7:00pm
FAMU, Smetanovo náb. 2
Room U1, 1. floor
(lecture will be simultaneously translated into English)

An artist of Czech origin born in southern California. She lives with her family on a farm called Červený Mlýn (The Red Mill). She first visited Czechoslovakia the homeland of her father’s family in summer 1979. She fell in love with makovic along the Domažlice paths and the older men, standard guests in Czech pubs. She immediately felt at home here, despite the fact that she has hybrid origins: Indian, Spanish and Mediterranean. In 1993 she completed a year-long scholarship study visit with the Fulbright Programme and decided to remain in the Czech Republic. In her works, focused on installations combining paintings, drawings, photographs, videos and various objects, she elaborates topics addressing mainly relationships between nature and culture, the correlations between historical facts and mythological structures, as well as the mutual impact of memories and experiences. Her studies of ethnology and her review of the philosophy of deconstructions directed her, in her early works, to researching movements that symbolic structures go through in various cultures. Here works, partially inspired by the approach of post-modern athropology, creates a new poetic reality via confronting pluralist interpretations and thematisations of the history of local societies in the context of (their) cultural integration. In her studies she addressed Indian cultures in her native southern California, in Polynesia, and in Mexico. Through these studies she was able to return back to the folk traditions of both Bohemia and Moravia. From the beginning he work includes an inseparably present auto-reflex on her own position as female artist (for example, shape and symbolic motifs based on the female body) and later on her own cultural „differentness“ as an emigré in the land of her forefathers.


Posted on: 31. 10. 2016, Editor KF FAMU