Markéta Málková: We are an island of a positive cultural deviation

REZI.DANCE in the South Bohemian Komářice presents itself as a residential, dance and artistic space. It is open not only to the artists and artistic groups, but also to the cultural managers or entire organizational teams. The connection with the village Komářice is emphasized, the folkloric traditions are maintained there and a responsible approach to the environment is promoted. We interviewed Markéta Malková about the REZI.DANCE which operates at the intersection between the free art and the creative industry.

How did the idea to establish an autonomous residential center arise?
The idea has its origins in the year 2007 when I returned from studying abroad and inherited a farm from my grandparents in Komářice, where a residential house is now located. At that time, I wanted to rebuild the farmhouse to a cultural center with a few other friends. However, being in our twenties we lacked both experience and money so the project was not implemented at that time. Nevertheless, I gained lot of experience and inspiration by being involved in the foundation and management of the Kredance cultural area in České Budějovice. After five years of participation in this project I left Kredance totally exhausted and fed up with culture. I went with my partner to Cambodia where we lived half a year and ran a bar on a hostel roof. The distance, time and other environment brought us back to the idea of ​​a farm where art and culture could coexist.

Isn’t it difficult to obtain funds for the operation of a residential center in the Czech Republic?
Yes, indeed. We are not a theater or an official cultural center and it is difficult to explain what a residential house focuses on. Abroad, however, artistic residences are common practice. Fortunately, things are changing and awareness has improved. It does not happen spontaneously, but rather thanks to the organizations that are for a long time active in the field of contemporary dance and theater. And to all of them I owe my thanks and admiration.

One of the well-proven ways can also be networking of non-profit and commercial services.
In my view, it is perhaps the only right way. We are still active and we do not wait until somebody sends us money. While our main activity is residential, we also organize workshops, summer camps, we offer space for rent and for various team-building activities. However, we are careful to ensure that these activities were in compliance with our aims, ideas and visions so that the potential of the place and its surrounding beautiful nature were fully utilized.

What do the guests expect from their stay and how it actually enriches them?
I think Komářice is attractive mainly because of its tranquility, nature and inspiring environment outside of the guests’ own homes and towns. In our center, artists can fully concentrate on their work and entirely relax. Besides, we have very positive references on our kitchen. All this together is a perfect harmony. At least it is what our clients use to say while having Sunday lunch with me.

How many residents have come to your place so far? On whom does the space mainly focus?
Last year, seven residences were realized there. It was a real success as we opened in March 2017 and the interest was really great. We were honored to host, for example, Jara Viňarský, Ufftenživot, Marek Menšík, Waxwing Thetare and other wonderful artists. Fortunately, the interest hasn’t vanished since then. Our place is primarily designed for freelance artists from the performing arts field. Thanks to its location in the countryside, our space should inspire artists in the initial stage of their work. This year, a screenplay for a film and a poetry collection will be written here. We're open to all hardworking and creative people. We are an island of positive cultural deviation where the boundaries are not set.

What has recently pleased you in the field of culture?
My friend Kristina Nedvědová has just finished her feature-length film “It’s snowing”. The film will be released this year and this makes me really happy. From a long time perspective, I am delighted that it is still possible to create freely in our country. And that we are fortunate enough to be involved in the process of creating many great new projects.

What, on the contrary, has disappointed you?
As far as the field of culture is concerned, I can’t think of anything. I'm rather horrified by the Czech political and social situation.

What are your wishes?
I wish that we could deal with the present situation like a real democratic society. Furthermore, once again we should be grateful for freedom with all its aspects. And my wish is also that we, as a civilization, were able to save our planet.