The historical circumstances that forced Jana Sterbak, at the age of thirteen, to abandon Czechoslovakia – invaded by Russia – and move to Canada, have profoundly influenced the artist’s work. Since the late 1970s, she has been creating works with strong existential and political content. The body, understood as a tool of rebellion against all forms of social and cultural control, is often central to her works – performance, video, installations, photography – that speak of identity, sexuality, death, strength, transience and beauty. "Faradayurt", in particular, falls into the context of reflection on the forms of individual control exercised by the media and new technologies and is composed of a steel cage which supports a tent in flectron, metal alloy and nylon used in air-space engineering to isolate some environments from electromagnetic waves. The title of the work in fact refers to the so-called “Faraday cage”, a term which, in the scientific field, is usually applied to any container of conductive material with a shielding effect with respect to electromagnetic fields generated by radio equipment or for telecommunications. Formally, the work refers instead to both the Yurt, the typical house of the nomadic peoples of Central Asia, and the tent in which, in the famous fresco of 1556 by Piero della Francesca, the Emperor Constantine is portrayed sleeping while an angel appears to him in a dream, revealing the mystery of the True Cross to him. The tent is set up as a physical space where one can experience total isolation from electromagnetic waves generated by radio, television, mobile phones etc., but also as a place of mental isolation in
which the visitor can indulge in dreams and imagination, protected from any media and technological influences that are disturbing and alien to the individual.