Jana Kasalová

© Jana Kasalova, 'State', 2012, DIEP


Jana Kasalová (Czech Republic, Prague)
State (2012)
Short Film


“When I lived in Madrid, I lived just a few blocks from the Prado. There I came upon a particular image of the Virgin Mary, in which she reveals a breast that squirts milk in a long stream directly into the mouth of a monk at prayer. It was depiction of a vision of St. Bernard of Clairvaux by Alonso Cano. At that time I had no interest in breastfeeding, but the scene was fascinating, slightly erotic and, from the Central European perspective, absolutely unprecedented.

After years, when I myself began to use streams of milk to make marks on paper, I remembered it, of course. And so I even came to think of it as actually ‘normal’. A considerably more compelling motive directed my actions: I was writing myself. After all I was literally flooded with a substance, which surprisingly enough, could be used entirely regardless to the original purpose, and yet, whether it served as an artistic gesture or for verbal communication retained a direct trace of the body. I felt like Pollock, when I sent the extra milk onto the paper.

In my cycle of drawings with breast milk and this video I could convincingly experience my own presence via my work, as otherwise it was spiralling beyond control. Sleep deprivation, exhaustion and an inability to focus were so dominant that only via these small records could I confirm my own existence in the here and now.”

Jana Kasalová completed a PhD at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University Madrid, in 2010 and since then has exhibited her work and taken up residencies in the UK, Europe and the USA.