Viki Kollerová, b.1984, Slovak
Born in Czechoslovakia, into a family of a plant virologist and an internationally recognized climber.
After finishing her MA in Translation and Interpretation, Viki Kollerová continued her postgraduate studies focused on semantics and eventually abandoned the academic life to the passion for photography in 2009.
One of the basic tasks of linguistic semantics is to study the relationship between form and meaning, which was easily applicable to her new field of interest. From the early photographs, Kollerova’s work represents a subtle balance between aesthetics of the form and the importance of the idea.
Her first solo show in 2012 titled Tied To My Own Strings features a collection of nude portraits depicted in self-inflicted confinement of a small apartment. The female figure explores the limitations of the living space, looking for imaginative escape routes.
The themes of confinement reappear as well in her subsequent series Stuck, despite moving her subject out in the open air. Photographing in nature initially brought to Kollerova’s work the notions of vulnerability and helplessness of the human being, appearing small in the overwhelming surroundings.
Viki makes her nude figures literally disappear throughout the exhibition NoBody showcased in The Museum of Slovak National Uprising alongside Tono Stano in 2015.
She creates a light-hearted dialogue with the viewer by playing hide and seek in her pictures.
With the help of humor, the artist tries to subvert the predominantly sexualized perception of the female nude and gently directs the observer to discover the innate innocence of the naked human form.
In 2020, eleven works from Kollerova’s largest series Silver Island were selected by Fotografiska Museum for the exhibition NUDE, first opened in Stockholm in 2021 and later moved to New York. With the subtitle - The Naked Body In Contemporary Photography, the exhibition shows 30 artists from different countries, exploring the nude from a feminine perspective.
Silver Island represents a positive shift in Kollerova’s approach to her subject. She moves away from the depiction of human struggle, so heavily present throughout her previous work.
‘My human being is no longer trapped or overwhelmed by the immensity of the environment but a natural part of it.’
‘By finding comfortable poses in uncomfortable places and mimicking the shapes of geological formations and trees, I invite the viewer to see the human, represented by my physical body in both its strength and vulnerability, as perfectly fitting to the all-embracing roughness of nature.’