Klará Hosnedlová ‘Ponytail Parlour’

at New Stage of National Theatre in Prague

To think the work of Klára Hosnedlová one must perceive the amplitude of the artist’s thought and action into space. Honesdlová bidimensional hand-embroidered works are of extreme delicacy. The viewer is uncertain of the medium - embroidery as drawing. These are part of the Hosnedlová’s well defined and unique aesthetics. The attention to detail is perpetuated by a thoughtful integration - the choice of environment, architecture, design, use of color, and human bodies. Hosnedlová creates what we must refer to as the ‘Gesamtkunswerk’ (Richard Wagner) - the ‘total work of art’.
Ponytail Parlour is the artist’s new show at Nová scéna - Prague National Theatre. The artist makes use of the cloakroom to its full extent. The contrast between the 80’s Brutalist building and its expressionist interiors and design coexist with the refinement and grace of its inhabitants - performers - and the luscious silhouettes of the cloakroom dresses.
This play and presence lives between the femininity of the scenes, fabrics, and actions in the hand-embroidered works, and the human figures in the space. The theatricality is here reversed by the constant change in the perception of historical time.
Klará Hosnedlová’s work is extemporary - we can be reminded of the theatrical female figures, from baroque dresses, to Velasquez paintings, to love stories and abandonment, to contemporary fashion advertisements, to modernist painting. These presences are both disrupting historical markers, as living figures in daily gestures with their lean bodies in lean clothing. The theatre cloakroom installation allows the transfiguration and diversification of the feminine in its many possible forms, through the use of the available apparatus (apparare, to prepare, make ready) - clothing, fabric, nails, hair, mirror.
Can we say that an aura of theatricality was always present on feminity? And if so, is this really theatrical or is it the simple timeless feminine reality in the gesture of braiding hair? In a fast-paced virtual world, Klará Hosnedlová reminds us of the importance of thinking what it means to take time - to prepare, to make ready, to create, to touch, to see. The artist overlaps notions of historical time, visually and kinesthetically, in focused gestures of care.

- Catarina Vaz