Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky practice is centered around her personal experience of nature, especially concerning the meeting point of nature and culture. The starting point comes both from small discoveries within the realm of botany and biology, and from the complex natural systems described in scientific research. She explores these juxtapositions through the medium of photography, as well as experimentation with other means of reproduction.
Research and study play a vital role for Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky. Since summer 2017 Kovacovsky co-organizes the monthly reading club ‘Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club’ together with Sina Ribak. They read texts related to natural sciences, art, anthropology, postcolonialism, and (post)anthropocene, chosen from a female perspective looking beyond disciplines. The books the artist studies show the way in which humans depict and comprehend nature. They make visible that the philosophy and science of any given time always heavily affects how we understand nature.
As modern humans we live in a paradox: man is part of nature and nature is being pulled into man’s “artificial” world. In her work Kovacovsky explores these subjects by forming intimate relationships with plants and objects that she finds in the wild. Her process is intuitive: She combines, observes and experiments with natural patterns, compositions and order. She zooms into small aspects of plants such as holes in leaves, created by caterpillars, the formal appearance of branches or the reproduction strategies of plants. She plays with movement, arrangement and rhythm of objects within her work. In 2010, she got acquainted with the technique of nature printing during research at the New York Botanical Garden library. This direct method of reproduction had a tremendous influence on her work. It led her to work with plant specimens, utilizing photocopies (339 Gräser 2010), frottages (Die Grasbüschel 2011) and cyanotypes (Jackotype, 2017 and Sequoia Type 2017), and to experiment in the color lab with photograms, multiple exposures on photo-paper and most recently with casts in plaster. In exploring these techniques, she is influenced by the artist / biologist Anna Atkins who made the first photo book in 1843 creating photograms of seaweed on cyanotype paper.
Coming from a background in photography, Kovacovsky works on the peripheries of the photographic medium and experiments with ways in which photographs stay unique. In nature, where two plants of the same species are never identical, the unique is a fundamental notion. The artist is fascinated by the characteristics of beings that only exist once.
Photography is sort of the antithesis of nature, as it is part of the problem when thinking about the environment. It is a harsh manmade medium that has a strong historic context coming out of industrialization. But photography also forms beautiful parallels with plants, since they are both “children of light”. For her it captures the dualism of nature and culture.
Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky (1980, Switzerland) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and at the Schule für Gestaltung in Basel. Her work has been exhibited frequently, including solo exhibitions in Kunstfort Vijfhuizen (NL), in Bäckerei Berlin (DE), Galerie STAMPA, Basel (CH), Aargauer Kunsthaus. Group exhibitions she participated were, among others CO Berlin, UM Festival, Gerswalde (DE), Kunsthal Stavanger (NO), Fotografiska, Stockholm (SE), Kunstmuseum Thun / Thun-Panorama (CH), FOAM Amsterdam (NL). She is a guest teacher at art academies in Karlsruhe, Ghent and Amsterdam. Her work is included in various public and private art collections.