Klara Hobza - Work description

Klara Hobza pursuits her self-imposed tasks with fervor. Her endeavors might span up to 30 years, as is currently the case with “Diving Through Europe” (2010 – ca. 2040). This spring, after several years of training, Hobza entered the Niewe Waterweg at the mouth of the North Sea, close to Rotterdam. She is now diving upstream through the Rhine river until she reaches the Main river in Mainz, Germany. From there, Hobza will dive through the Main, the Main-Danube-Channel, and then through the Danube river all the way to the Black Sea, near Constanta. Other tasks may even reach decades beyond her death, as the artist asserts in her piece “Biography” (2002, 2012, … 2086).

While pursuing her virtually impossible aims, Klara uses what she encounters along the way as conceptual material, which she then translates into various media such as video, sculpture, drawing, and lecture spectacles.

Hobza’s pieces gain substance and complexity from situations where the world of imagination clashes with the world of reality. There is a hilarious disproportion between her character´s plan and what would conventionally be understood as possible.

In her older work, you can already experience these wonderfully comedic moments, as in the video piece “Paper Airplanes” (2004), where we watch a determined Hobza run down a long pier toward the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of a winter storm, absolutely believing in the possibility of successfully throwing a paper airplane around the world.

And suddenly, as in the video “Avian Management Supervision” (2007), we find ourselves catapulted into a moment of levity when the task that we have written off as a failure unexpectedly succeeds to our great surprise—perhaps even surprising the artist herself.

These moments of wonder and fleeting triumph in Hobza´s art are achieved not so much by the familiar means of efficient problem solving, but by means specific to art itself.

Klara Hobza - Bio (last updated: October 2012)

Klara Hobza was born in Plzen, Czech Republic. She received her education and artistic training in Germany, England, and the United States. Klara moved to New York City as a DAAD fellow in 2002, and lived and worked there until she moved to Berlin, Germany in October 2009. Klara earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia University in 2005.

In New York, Klara worked with institutions such as the SculptureCenter (Make It Now, 2005), the Socrates Sculpture Park (EAF, 2005), and the Public Art Fund (In the Public Realm, 2008 – 2009).

Klara was awarded the SculptureCenter Prize in 2005, the Fellowship in Cross-Disciplinary/Performative Work from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2007, the 2009 DIVA residency stipend in Copenhagen, Denmark, the 2010 “ars viva” grant, by "Kulturkreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft des BDI", the 2012 German Art Foundation's exhibition as well as the 2012 work stipend, and the 2012 catalogue award by Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Germany.

Klara’s first art book, "The New Millennium Paper Airplane Book", was published by the Public Art Fund in 2009, and its second edition is currently distributed by D.A.P. She is currently working on her comprehensive catalogue "Early Endeavors", to be published November 2012.

Klara has been exhibiting internationally since 2001. Her most recent group shows include "Labor/Laboratory" at SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul (2011) and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2011), "Oceanomania: Souvenirs from a Mysterious Sea" at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco (2011). Recent solo shows include "Prequel" at soy capitán, Berlin (2011), "Moving with Fervor into Moments of Levity" at Springhornhof Neuenkirchen (2012), and "Diving Through Europe" at Kuenstlerhaus Bremen (2012).

Her work has been reviewed in artforum (2005 and 2012), frieze magazine (2012), the New York Times (2008 and 2009), the Scientific American (2008) and Popular Mechanics (2008), among many others.

Klara Hobza has been working with Galerie fuer Landschaftskunst in Hamburg, Germany since 2009: www.gflk.de

Since 2011, the artist is represented by Berlin-based gallery soy capitán: www.soycapitan.de