Intervention #21: Anna Hulačová
It is for a second time that Kolín Water Tower features contemporary artworks in the summer months. In 2019, it displayed glass objects by Pavel Kopřiva; in 2020, it presents distinctive sculptor Anna Hulačová, who has been a Czech star in the international art sky in the past years. In the water tower tank, she displays a series of concrete reliefs from her Protozoa cycle, a more or less stylized rendering of unicellular organisms classified as primordial animals by biologists in the past.
Protozoa mostly live in water and an absolute majority of them need a wet environment to survive. They thrive in temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 °C, while temperatures over 40 °C will kill most of them. Although Protozoa are at the base of the food chain, their existence, too, is facing a considerable threat due to global warming and drought. Placing the reliefs in an empty water tank is yet another reminder of the importance of water for all life on Earth.
The motif of Protozoa also reflects Anna Hulačová’s interest in the ideas of Australian theorist Astrida Neimanis who works with the concept of hydrofeminism to describe the interconnectedness of all organic and inorganic processes on our planet. To Neimanis, the membrane enabling food intake and movement of Protozoa is a metaphor for permeability – water is flowing through our bodies, too, to become one with clouds, seas and other living organisms around us in an absolute sense. Water interconnects us as a constant reminder of the necessity of mutual care, as we are not sovereign masters of the world, but our existence, too, depends on the delicate balance of nature.
Anna Hulačová is an extraordinary sculptor whose work revives traditional crafts, translating the inspiration found in ancient mythologies, Eastern cultures as well as in Czech folk traditions and original Christian symbolism into the language of contemporary art. Her primarily figurative works embody an idiosyncratic aesthetic merging ancient idols, Gothic woodcarving and surface minimalism of graphic design and photography. Find out more about the artist here. In 2016, Hulačová was a finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award.
Kolín Water Tower is one of the landmarks of the city of Kolín. Built in 1928, it was designed by J. V. Hráský and architect František Janda, student of Jan Kotěra. In 2010, it was declared a cultural monument. The 45-meter-tall tower, which was extensively renovated and opened as an observation tower, offers views from the top floor, a wheelchair accessible gallery, and a small information center.