Bosse & Baum presents Kateřina Šedá’s first solo show in the UK since 2011, when she was the first Czech artist to exhibit at Tate Modern. London. The exhibition consists of an installation of wooden models of houses, which also resemble bird houses, alongside a series of works on paper and photographs by the artist. This body of work follows on from Šedá’s previous project, where she worked with the Department of Art & Culture in Austria to create miniature versions of former homes of individual senior citizens of Hainfield Care & Assistance Centre. She installed them as bird houses in the garden of the care home. This project deals with age, memory and community and former iterations of the installation have been presented in Austria and Slovakia, between 2019 to 2021.

With the project in Austria, Kateřina Šedá’s intention was not only to let the elderly return to their homes symbolically, but to activate them at the same time – both in the realisation of the project and with the installation, which they could actively visit in the garden. It was fundamental that they became co-authors of the individual houses and their memories could be reflected in them. The final shape of the individual houses was created from a combination of the collected materials (conversations, drawings, photographs) and also through the involvement of the architect who provided the drawings for the realisation in the carpentry workshop. Memories of the built environment are fed by different impressions – whether proportions, colours, smells or architectural details. How can these memories be retrieved? How much imagination does it take to bridge the gaps in memory and design a coherent, replicable house from the fragments?

Equally important was the view of the installation in the garden from the windows, especially in winter, as many of the senior citizens could not make it into the garden on their own. Šedá’s ambition for the installation was understandable not only for the residents of the home, but also for the employees, the families and relatives who came to visit regularly. Children in particular, when visiting their grandparents, look for something that could help them build a relationship with their grandmother or grandfather and have fun together. Šedá’s intention for the installation was to inspire all age groups. This is an important part of her project because her experience has shown that it is precisely the incomprehensibility and inaccessibility of works of art that keeps people from participating and motivating others.

In her work, Kateřina Šedá focuses on socially-conceived events, often employing dozens or hundreds of people who have nothing to do with art. The purpose of experimenting with interpersonal relationships is to bring those involved out of their stereotypes or social isolation. She tries to induce a lasting change in their behaviour by means of their own activity and a new usage of everyday resources.

About the artist

Kateřina Šedá (b. 1977, Brno) lives and works in Brno-Líšeň. In 2005 she graduated from the AVU (Academy of Fine Arts) in Prague. Selected upcoming and past projects and exhibitions include : Artpark Buffalo Niagara in USA (2022–2024); Milton Keynes Art Centre in UK (2032–2024); Belvedere Museum in Vienna (2023); LIAF in Norway (2019); IHME, Helsinki (2016); SF Moma, San Francisco (2013–2014); Tate Modern, London (2011), and many others. She exhibited at 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (2018), the MMOMA, Moscow (2016), the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in Japan, he Venice Biennale (2013), Kunstmuseum Luzern (2012), the Mori Museum, Tokyo (2010), the New Museum, New York (2009), Manifesta 7, Bolzano (2008), the 5th Berlin Biennale (2008), the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2008) and Documenta 12, Kassel (2007), among others.

Kateřina received many awards for her work: Architect of the Year 2017 (Czech republic), Magnesia Litera for journalism (Czech Republic), TAKU Production Prize (Finland), The Most Beautiful Czech Books (Czech Republic), Contemporary Art Society Award (Great Britain), Jindřich Chalupecký Award (Czech Republic), Fluxus Award (Germany), Essl Award (Austria), among others. She has published more than thirty books and publications, mapping her individual projects in detail. She lectures about her work at schools, in cultural centres and galleries, but also in villages and small towns, trying to give an idea about her work to large audiences, and thus prompt them to their own activity.

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