Issue #29, 2008

Attempts To Apply Pareto Principle
Anetta Mona Chișa & Lucia Tkačová

Anetta Mona Chișa (born in 1975 in Romania) and Lucia Tkačová (born in 1977 in Slovakia) are based in Prague and Bratislava, working together on collaborative projects since 2000. Their work, as they remark in one of the lists presented in this insert, has been defined in many ways, from feminist, post-feminist or feminine to provocative, political or subversive. Their approach to the subjects they work with is always accompanied by reflection and self-awareness, which makes the work escape such simple definitions or categorizations. In fact, they often deconstruct the criteria which make one’s work definable within certain frames and rigid demands. Thus, the hierarchies implicit and tacitly accepted, between artists, curators, gallerists in the art-world, or more generally between women, political (men) leaders or Eastern vs. Western are exposed in their convention-like character. Irony – sometimes crude, sometimes bitter – is a red thread running through their projects, as is simplicity of means, straightforwardness and universality of message.

Attempts to Apply Pareto Principle (2007) starts from the so-called Pareto principle, according to which 80% of the effects are produced by 20% of the causes. The principle was coined as such in 1937 by Joseph M. Juran who generalized and applied to business management an observation made by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto at the beginning of the 20th century, remarking that in Italy at that time 80% of the resources were owned by 20% of the people. What was in the beginning a non-scientific diagnosis on the unequal distribution of wealth in society, became the rule of the vital few and the useful many and was turned into a tool for management improvement. Anetta Mona Chișa and Lucia Tkačová are taking this principle beyond its narrow economical relevance and apply it to their daily life, to their artistic practice and collaboration. They use this pseudo-mathematical formula in order to put across their patterns of behaviour or thinking, as well as their image as they see it reflected by the others. Instead of sophisticated charts or statistics diagrams, they convey their statements in the form of hand-written lists, which they have been using in other projects as well, thus preserving the directness of the message and the impression of very personal story which their works suggest. The artists employ the 80–20 principle for an iron­ic self-scrutiny, however in the process of analysis of the different aspects on which the rule can be applied, it is in fact the rule itself that is undermined, détourné. The Pareto principle, already with an ambiguous history, becomes a frivolous measurement for one’s quotidian – more often useful than vital – questionings. (R. V.)


Anetta Mona Chișa (born in Romania) and Lucia Tkačová (born in Slovakia) collaborate since 2000. They both graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and currently they live and work in Prague and Bratislava.

Solo Shows (selected): 2008 February: Romantic Economies,Medium Gallery, Bratislava; 2006 June: Everything is Work, Tranzit, Bratislava; June: Magical Recipes for Love, Happiness and Health, f.a.i.t. Gallery, Cracow; May: FAQ, Quartier 21 – Ovallhalle, Museums Quartier, Vienna; February: Ortografio de Potenco, Futura Gallery, Prague; 2005 November: The Red Library, Jeleni Gallery, Prague; March: Videosomic, Space Gallery, Bratislava; 2003 March: A Room of Their Own, Medium Gallery, Bratislava.

Group Shows (selected): 2007 November: L’Europe en devenir, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; October: Humor Works, Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana; October: Bad ... (Curated by vvork), Galerie West, Hague; June: Public Art Bucharest,; June: Shooting Back, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; May: Prague Biennale 3, Karlin Hall, Prague; April: Locus Solus, Myto Gallery, Mexico City; art world etiquette, ThreeWalls, Chicago; March: The Collection, Trafó Gallery, Budapest; February: Partners in Crime, Gallery MC, New York; January: Culture Clash, Bastard Gallery, Oslo; 2006 November: Transfer, Muzej savremene likovne umetnosti, Novi Sad; September: Arrivals>Slovakia, Turner Contemporary, Margate; June: Kuba: Journey against the Current, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; June: Shadows of Humor, BWA Awangarda, Wroclaw; June: Fremdkoerper, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; April: Innenansicht, Kunstraum NOE, Vienna; 2005 December: The Artist with Two Brains, NAB – Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham; May: Prague Biennale 2, Karlin Hall, Prague; March: Iconoclash, The Spitz Gallery, London; February: RE-SHUFFLE: Notions of an Itinerant Museum, Art in General, New York; 2004 September: E.U. positive, Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; 2003 May: The Last East European Show, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; April: Stadt in Sicht, KunstlerHaus, Vienna.