Interviews with the Monster (2021) is an installation created by Eva Kotátková as a further development of the Other Knowledge project. the Prague artist has arranged three environments in the exhibition spaces that interpret the conception of normal and monstrous, trying to lead the viewer to a new reconsideration of the term to get rid of prejudices and mechanisms of exclusion.

The main installation is made up of a series of building materials, such as wooden planks, plumbing pipes, metal pipes, concrete and ropes to put together the foundation of a house that is under construction but apparently stalled. This carcass left with doors without doors, windows without glass, is inhabited by big-head figures made with fabric. They almost look like hot-air balloon. They are not just the characters of this bizarre piece but they are also the sounding bard for a series of voices. Is thanks to the sound that the characters of this play are born: the mayor, the governor, the architect who discuss among themselves how to manage the construction of what turns out to be a shelter. Kotátková combining ministerial documents, testimonies and dialogues of pure fiction leads the viewer to reflect on the meaning of the words we use every day. The entries tangle and add up to each other, demonstrating the difficulty of handling and organizing these issues and at the same time underlining their unresolved nature.

What is the value of the concept of normality? The words, conceived as an audio theater work, rotate in space until they overlap and cause the topics to repeat themselves, generating misunderstandings. Despite the initial push to create a space for discussion and confrontation, the imposition of one’s voice won, thus leading to the denial of a personal space for the free and shared expression of opinions and needs. The screenplay therefore stands as a point of reflection on the cultural and educational system, underlining its most deeply rooted problems as the artist herself states: “Our society is built on inequality and exclusion. Beginning in childhood, we are purposefully ingrained with a fear of what is different or unknown. There is no place for difference; it poses a threat to the system.”

Interview with the Monster manifests itself as an attempt to relocate the terms and clean them from their deviant use: the masks and their voices become a precise representation of a condition that is as daily as it is universal. Kotátková wants to cast doubt on the definitions that we attributed to concepts and feelings of the human being and the citizen: staging such everyday scene but at the same time its surreal digression allows us to recognize in the imagination a weapon to move and make tremble the foundations of a fallacious tradition. The dream immerses itself in reality to be loaded with an awareness in favor of a position and a change to be implemented.


Eva Kotátková
Interview with the Monster, 2021
Meet Factory Prague, © Photo: Studio Flusser