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Is matter animate? I understand my practice as thinking through doing, thinking with my hands. I am looking closely at where the hard distinction between nature and culture has taken the western society, with particular interest in the history of this separation and disenchantment. All culture is born by bodies – through senses and metabolism. Human beings as bodies also emerge from and stay intertwined with the mineral and non-organic worlds. Working with my hands, in and through materials, is a way to address and understand this interconnectedness. In the artworks, however, my human agency rather fades into the background and the surfaces appear grown, organic.

Through figures that merge human and more-than-human bodies, I explore our neglected animal identity. I observe the destructive effects of the western cosmology based on the exceptionalism of certain humans. In the time of living through multiple ecological crises, I want to offer narratives that make the western human feel the ground under their feet. To counter the damage that is already there I am looking for ways to rebind our minds to the material world, which includes all things invisible, latent, withheld, potential, unclear. Playing with potentiality and unequivocal presences precisely as something material and not otherworldly is at the core of my practice. In my sculptural installations I like to use ceramics, silicone, drawing, photography and text.


Anka Helfertová

anka.helfertova @
instagram: @ankahelfert


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