Bara Jichova works with 2-D, film and video, and likes to point at the insides of minds and bodies. What are we truly made of, what are we secretly thinking of? Our desire is often something we wear on the outside. Sometimes it manifests itself as shame, fear and the longing to be understood. Even though her work often takes on difficult topics, absurdity, playfulness and humour play an important role. She composites scenes, and creates narratives with a twist.
Her latest work is a series of unique hand-cut photographic collages. She shoots the majority of her source material herself using a variety of tools: Nikkormat film camera, an SLR camera, and an iPhone. First, Jichova prints the resulting images, digital C-prints, and hand-cuts and paints them. Then, she reassembles them to create seamless, powerfully punctured panoramas. These are disquieting scenes that take on intimate topics, like adultery and the death of her husband. Her photographs are collaged together with her drawings, woodcuts, paints or color gels and filters.
In her past work, she used CT scans as her material, and in her series “1989” she collaged a Czechoslovakian communist newspaper into her geometric paintings. As an adhesive, Jichova uses tape rather than glue, which gives more flexibility for manipulation, similar to film editing.
Jichova vacillates between static 2-D collage and film. For her collage work, she often uses stills from her films and visa versa. Her films blur the line between documentary and fiction. In her current documentary film, Adultery, she loosely uses the model of ethnographic and qualitative market research, interviewing 40 subjects of different cultural and sociological backgrounds, gathering an in-depth understanding of human behaviour.
Bara Jichova is a visual artist, photographer and filmmaker from the Czech Republic, now based in New York. Jichova studied Fine Arts and Art Restoration in the Czech Republic, and worked as an art restorer in Europe for several years. In 2002, she moved to the United States, studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and in 2007 obtained a BFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. In addition, she studied fine arts at Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and received The Donis A. Dondis Travel Fellowship.
In 2010, Jichova had a solo show in NYC called “1989″, including paintings, drawings and collage combined with archival newspaper from 1989, the year of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. In 2013, her work was part of a group show titled “Session One” at the New York gallery Pocket Utopia, and a group show “AFTH2013”, curated by Renwick Heronimo at Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn. Since 2011, she has been working on a feature-length documentary film called Adultery. The film is a combination of 50 hours of interviews, as well as her photography and collage work in collaboration with sound designers and composers. Jichova has directed several short films and animations, which were screened in the US, Europe and Asia. Her recent short film, Expanding the Frontiers of Knowledge: Sweet Anguish, was part of the 2013 Official Selection of the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.
Jichova often collaborates with other filmmakers and artists, such as: Hal Hartley, Michael Almereyda, Karl Geary, John Holland, and Amy Jenkins. In 2011, she worked as an art director on the film Now, Forager, directed by Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin, which was part of the New Directors work at Lincoln Center, nominee of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, and had a worldwide release. In 2013, as editor and co-producer, she completed a feature-length documentary directed by Malachi Connolly, Built on Narrow Land, about Bauhaus architecture on a Cape Cod. The film was an official selection of the Architecture and Design Film Festival in NYC, Los Angeles, and Provincetown International Film Festival. Her current collaboration is with an artist and director Amy Jenkins on a feature documentary film Instructions On Parting.
Jichova curated “Hands On: The Illusion of Movement”, an animation show at Pocket Utopia in 2014. In April 2014, Jichova had a solo show, “Transparencies and Insides”, at Salon Ciel in New York, featuring large-scale photographs of Bauhaus architecture details, combined with her original prints, woodcuts and drawings.