Museu de Montserrat
On the contemporary art scene, over the last three decades, Jana Sterbak has pioneered one of the most radical visions of the human condition. The almost anthropological analysis which she authored is alimented by her multi-cultural background. In the course of her life so far, the artist has accessed four languages and their corresponding cultures. These, in turn, and at times all at once, inform a narrative synthesis of profound complexity. The resulting works reflect the vicissitudes that afflict the human being in his struggle to be rid of the burdens and limits imposed by the conditions to which all living creatures are restricted. To express these contingencies of the natural orders, the artist often calls on information and knowledge furnished by science, new technologies, as well as belief systems past and present.
Jana Sterbak (Prague, 1955) lives and works in Montreal. In her late childhood her family moved to Canada. She trained at Vancouver Art School and at Concordia University in Montreal. Her Czech cultural background still lends a flavour of ironic realism even today to her artistic production, imbued with great conceptual strength. In 1989 she exhibited at the Biennale canadienne d’art contemporain in Ottawa. Her work was first shown in Europe as part of the Aperto section of the 1990 Venice Bienal, with her eye-opening performance Remote Control. Since then she has held individual exhibitions of her work at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Humlebaek; the Serpentine Gallery, London; Malmö Konsthall in Sweden, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, or the Fundació Tàpies, in Barcelona. The artist represented Canada at the 2003 Venice Bienal with her video-installation From Here to There and at the 2005 Prague Bienal where she exhibited her video-installation Waiting for High Water. In later years her work has been on show at Artium in Vitoria, Carré d’Art in Nîmes, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Québec, Musée Reattu in Arles and at the Palais des Papes in Avignon. Jana Sterbak is represented in important collections in museums and art galleries in both Europe and Canada and has won many international prizes, such as the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation prize, Prix Antoine Guichard, St. Etienne, France, an award from the Arts Council of Canada in Ottawa and the Governor General Arts Awards in Visual and Media Arts of Canada. She works in Barcelona from 1998 with the Galeria Toni Tàpies.