„The jury appreciated Björnsonova art group’s ability to combine diverse sources of inspiration, from witchcraft through feminist literature to pop-cultural symbols, within an artistic practice that is consciously embedded in the current geographical and sociopolitical context, taking a stance that could be referred to as Czechoslovak postcolonialism and irreverence to patriarchal or other oppressive structures.“ (jury statement)
The Björnsonova* non-collective was founded in 2015. The members featured in Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2021 include Nik Timková (1986), Zuzana Žabková (1987), Lucie Svoboda Mičíková (1986), Lucia Kvočáková (1984), Tamara Antonijević (1989) and Tanja Šljivar (1989). The artistic and interdisciplinary platform for experimentation, research and sharing is operated by a whole range of artists from the Prague, Berlin, Brussels and Belgrade art scenes. Björnsonova is a platform as well as a fictional character, a mystery, a monster, a teenager, a witch with an ever-changing appearance. Her body is a metaphor for the functioning and dynamic of the collective, with all parts of the whole being inseparable while creating their own environment. Authorship and individual self-presentation play a minimum role. The artists interconnect their practices to explore the relation between the body and its environment, using various anti-strategies to stir notions of how this relation may change. In 2017, two members received the Oskár Čepan Award, along with other Award finalists. Currently, the Björnsonova non-collective studies COI (Class of Interpretation) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and the CPRC (Collective Practice Research Course) post-graduate program at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. They presented their work at Czech and international galleries, clubs and festivals; in Košice, Berlin, Marseille and Belgrade among others. Björnsonova is currently owned by a cat.
*Explanation of the term “non-collective” by its authors:
Unlike art collectives, which typically feature individual members creating collective artworks, Björnsonova also includes people who are not there at the given moment. Anyone may join them over the course of time, entering the creative process, being present, or staying in the background like a ghost, yet still being an integral part of the group. Björnsonova is best characterized as a fluid permeable open group/platform.