List of all exhibits. Click on one of them to go to the exhibit page. The topics allow exhibits to be selected by their concept categories. On the right, you can choose the settings of the list view.
The list below shows links between exhibits in a non-standard way. The points denote the exhibits and the connecting lines are connections between them, according to the selected categories.
Enter the end dates in the windows in order to set the period you are interested in on the timeline.
- Author Karolina Kowalska
- Date of production 2004
- Dimensions height: 62 cm, width: 50 cm, depth: 20 cm
- Author's designation none
- ID no. BS/888
- Availability in stock
- Acquired date 2004
- Object copyright Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digital images copyright © all rights reserved, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
The motifs of urban everyday life as an illusory sign of economic prosperity prevail in Karolina Kowalska’s works. Streets, blocks of flats, and office buildings appear next to intimate apartment interiors and impersonal infrastructure. The architectural and media indicators of capitalism determine the area of human activity, rendering the world of nature a luxurious addition. The artist manipulates their images, pushing them into everyday realities and, with a hint of irony, transforming them. Thus, her photographs, films, installations, and objects reveal in a nuanced, jocular manner, the influence of urban cityscape on individuals and relationships and propose slightly improved variants. The projects realized by the artists combine music, visual art, and text at times.more
The motifs of urban everyday life as an illusory sign of economic prosperity prevail in Karolina Kowalska’s works. Streets, blocks of flats, and office buildings appear next to intimate apartment interiors and impersonal infrastructure. The architectural and media indicators of capitalism determine the area of human activity, rendering the world of nature a luxurious addition. The artist manipulates their images, pushing them into everyday realities and, with a hint of irony, transforming them. Thus, her photographs, films, installations, and objects reveal in a nuanced, jocular manner, the influence of urban cityscape on individuals and relationships and propose slightly improved variants. The projects realized by the artists combine music, visual art, and text at times.
A window onto the winter belongs to the cycle of lightboxes simulating a rainforest view. The unique nature of this object lies in the contrast between a common, wooden window – a familiar object in our climate zone – and the view of an exotic landscape “behind the glass”. The artist subtly flirts with the Renaissance – Alberti’s motif of painting – a window as a way of opening to the world of nature. She chooses a view extracted from reality, rather than some illusionistic image. The scenery, which spreads out on the other side, is derived from dreams of the charming and unpolluted surroundings. Such longing for natural features increases – especially during the winter – when plants die under a layer of snow. The title of the work refers to this kind of atmosphere of longing, as it ironically emphasizes the amusing function of the window. A frame of rainforest is used to cheer the audience up and to create calm, relaxing but, at the same time, slightly mysterious atmosphere. Depicting an exotic landscape may be seen as a way of compensating the shortcomings caused by cold and gloomy climate. A Window for the winter may as well be “a window into a winter garden”, a view of heated space of a conservatory: green and blossoming regardless of the season. Kowalska incorporates the theme of the rainforest into her other projects as well. The installation, site-specific – Lampshades for fluorescent lamps (2004–2005), designed for the Kraków Employment Agency, can be considered a complement or continuation of a Window onto the winter. In a sense, the artist “familiarizes” the space associated mainly with stress and uncertainty. She used photographs of exotic plants to design covers for fluorescent lamps in the corridors of the building. Kowalska decorated this formalized space with green shades, in an attempt to introduce an imitation of nature. By doing so, she reduced the disquieting atmosphere of expectation, which usually fills this space.
The artificial combination of the functionalist urban architecture and elements of nature is also an important topic in Kowalska’s creative work. Her movie entitled, Divine option (2004), is a play of greenery with a concrete backstreet among blocks of flats. It shows the controlled, slow application of the layer of vegetation to the grim structure of the building. On the one hand, this makes the view friendlier, on the other, it causes a disturbing impression of urban tissue subdued by the mysterious forces of nature.
Kowalska’s works, which confront the natural environment with the panorama dominated by human economic activity, place a commentary on current ecological problems in a typical neighbourhood, which is familiar to almost every inhabitant of the city. They are also a discreet allusion to sensitivity and awareness being an element of the ecosystem.
Elaborated by Gabriela Brdej (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
Karolina Kowalska (1978) is a photographer and graphic designer, the author of installations, video, animation, and projects in public space. She often combines visual art, text, and music in her projects. She uses photography and film, creating installations called site-specific. She is a graduate of the Graphic Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (diploma 2002); she studied animation at the Hogeschool in Gent in Belgium (1997–2002). She was a scholar of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2007), as part of the scholarship programme of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Young Poland” (2010) and a resident of the artistic programmes of Forum Stadtpark in Graz (2006) and Location One in New York (2010–2011). She was invited to the programme called, Artist Pension Trust in Berlin (from 2009). She has collaborated with the experimental artistic group called Fundacja 36,6 and the project, grzenda.pl. She is the author of individual exhibitions, including: Makro (Nova Gallery, Kraków, 2004), Unexpected breakdown of the advertising market (Potocka Gallery, Kraków, 2004), Crash Test (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków, 2006), Risk Management (Folkwang Museum / RWE Turm, Essen, 2006), Art in Cinema (Kino pod Baranami, Kraków, 2008), Reload (Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Łódź), Photographs—EYES ON (Polish Culture Institute, Vienna, 2010). Her works have been presented at numerous group exhibitions, including: Boys and girls (Zachęta — National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2004), Adaptation – the Art of Adjustment (zak gallery, Berlin, 2006), Aufzeichnung No. 3 (Atelier Frankfurt, Frankfurt Am Main, 2007), Ok! Wyspiański (Stanisław Wyspiański Museum in Kamienica Szołayskich, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków, 2008), Travel agency (ZONA Sztuki Aktualnej, Łódź, 2009), 20 instants of freedom (Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk, 2009), Naughties (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków, 2011), In the Making (Location One, New York, 2011), Economics in art (Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków MOCAK, 2013), L’arte differente: MOCAK al MAXXI (Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2016). She lives and works in Kraków.