Kateřina Šedá (born 1979) is a Czech artist. She lives and works in Brno. Her work is based on the observation of ‘invisible’ contexts and social relations between individuals within their daily environment, however the location of the project. From these contexts, she derives a series of elements in the form of drawings, texts and diagrams, which she uses to devise games characterised by various rules and missions. For instance, in 2003, she created a participatory game (jeu de société), Nic tam meni, “There is nothing there”, involving all the inhabitants of the village she was born in. She has also developed several projects with her grandmother, asking her to draw from memory hundreds of objects that were meaningful for her.
In addition to this, through her interest in communities, the artist has developed projects that are never centrally oriented towards the production of artworks. Indeed, she is intensely concerned with the actions she caries out, which mainly involve populations living in the Czech countryside and which aim to foster a sense of belonging and responsibility towards the communities the inhabitants are part of, and modes of identification within the home. Kateřina Šedá pursues her projects as long as is necessary in order to successfully accomplish her initial intention. In this way, there is no such thing as a failed project.
Kateřina Šedá’s quest to create exchanges between people and their everyday contexts led her, for instance, to create the 2003 project There is nothing there. For this project, the artist asked the inhabitants of a village in the Czech Republic to all simultaneously repeat gestures from everyday life – having previously identified these rituals by collaboratively putting together a questionnaire bearing on their typical Saturday occupations. These actions and performances brought the residents to act collectively and to get to know one another, which fostered a strong social bond between them.
In 2010, for her Mirror Hill project, she brought together 600 families from a community located in the outskirts of Budapest — a wealthy area but lacking in public gathering sites. Again, with this project the objective was to encourage residents to meet one another, this time by taking part in a competition. The artist asked the participants to draw what they could see from their home. The family that produced the most drawings won a two-week trip to Florida. After a day of competing, from 8 am to 8 pm, all the residents gathered together to discuss the day they had spent together. After selecting 250 drawings, Kateřina Šedá created a book including a compilation of the drawing and a map of the area.
Another noteworthy project is Kateřina Šedá’s collaboration with the inhabitants of the small Czech village, Nošovice, for her project “Neda se svitit”, which gave rise to an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne in 2012. Talk to the sky ‘cause the ground ain’t listening is one of the myriad possible translations of a Czech proverb, which provides the title of the work. For each stage in the development of the Neda se svitit project, Kateřina Šedá chooses a different translation, for instance No Light, as That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles for Tokyo.
Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers have invited Kateřina Šedá to develop a project tied to the town of Aubervilliers and its inhabitants, which will kick off in September 2016 and continue through to December. Her project, titled “Les Talents d’Aubervilliers” (Aubervilliers' Got Talent), will be a kind of talent contest, open to all forms of talent. The winners will have their name engraved on the pavement of a street in Aubervilliers, like the “Walk of Fame” on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.