works / Close your eyes, and everything will be like at the dawn of the world

Centre for Contemporary Art DOX, Prague / March 7 – June 9 2024

Curators: Leoš Válka, Michaela Šilpochová, Otto M. Urban

Close your eyes, and everything will be like at the dawn of the world reads a poem by Václav Hrabě, whose poetry Kamila Ženatá decided to illustrate for her diploma thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 1979. Since then, her work has undergone a long development and many forms. She soon abandoned her early graphic art and began working with drawing, video art, large-scale painting, text, and conceptually elaborate and meaningfully multi-layered site-specific installations.

The study of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and active imagination, her own art therapy practice, and her interest in the unconscious and dreams as records of collective and individual memory all gradually and permanently inscribed themselves in her artistic work. A constant in the work of Kamila Ženatá is the endless search, the desire for knowledge, the effort to approach the mystery of human existence and to understand the order of the world as well as what is hidden and what transcends us as human beings.

Her most recent large-format abstract canvases presented in this exhibition bear all these references. From roots to stars, from microcosm to macrocosm, from the symbolism of mycelium, which the artist understands as an all-pervading consciousness beyond time and space, through a painterly interpretation of evolutionary principles (“from horsetail to crocodile”) to the primordial beginning of the universe, Kamila Ženatá invites the viewer to an imaginary return to the essence of things. There, where everything is like at the dawn of the world.