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Anna Baumgart, “Paragraph 1000”

Anna Baumgart’s film, Article 1000 (Paragraf 1000), is the result of the artist’s search in the archives of the Falstad Centre. During the years 1941–1945, this location served as an SS prison camp, and, after the WWII, it was transformed into a prison for people collaborating with the Nazis. The starting point for the artist was the documentation found as a result of a query and fragments of the New Year’s performance script, staged by convicts in 1947, which went on to become a political scandal.

Elżbieta Jabłońska, “Helping”

The works of Elżbieta Jabłońska are situated in the sphere of engaged art, commenting on cultural and social clichés. A number of her projects are related to the reinterpretation of the role of women in society, expressed at the same time with irony and fondness. In one of her most-famous works — Supermatka [Supermother], from 2002 – the artist recalls the figure of a woman-superhero, impersonating the characters of Batman, Superman, and Spiderman in a kitchen interior. Her everyday activities become the domain of her heroic activity, usually overlooked and taken for granted. Jabłońska’s activities also include a number of initiatives intended for people who need help. To initiate one of the actions, she was inspired by a job advert found in Łódź, stuck on the wall by a single mother with a child, in a difficult life situation. The artist failed to find the author of the appeal; however, another unemployed woman embroidered the content of the advert into a tapestry and was paid for it with the money from Jabłońska’s fee, (from the cycle Helping), in the exhibition, Kobieta ma duszę [The Woman has a soul], Manhattan Gallery, Łódź, (2003). In subsequent years, Jabłońska began to include other social groups in her actions, in particular, excluded and marginalized people.

Wojciech Doroszuk, “Reisefieber”

A project by Wojciech Doroszuk called Reisefieber concerns the problem of economic migration. During his stay in Berlin, the artist played the role of a newcomer from the East and was employed in the service sectors which are usually entrusted to emigrants. Based on his experience, five films and photography have been created, that form a multi-layered story of everyday, ordinary life in a foreign country, including both paid work and leisure activities, for example, participation in mass events organized in the city space. In each situation, the hero is shown as a stereotypical stranger, deprived of the will and the possibility of joining indigenous members of the community.

Honza Zamojski, “Modernism”

Honza Zamojski’s video, entitled Modernism, is an attempt to critically look at the phenomenon of modernism in architecture. The artist reduces the ideas underlying this trend to a simple pattern of repetitive action seen on the screen. As a result of a looped gesture of arranging round cookies, placing one on another, a kind of a tower is created, which, in a distant association, evokes materialized assumptions of modernist architecture, manifested in simple geometrical forms, abandoning decorativeness and ornamentation, reducing the body of the building to an abstract structure.

Wael Shawky, “Digital Church”

In the film Digital Church Wael Shawky tries to connect two worlds, the Christian and the Islamic, by staging the surah devoted to the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, recorded in the holy book of Muslims, in the space of the Catholic church. The artist uses the sung recitation of verses, which is traditional for the Islamic world, using the Arabic language, until recently recognized as the only language in which the text of the Quran has a prayer value. Although the recited surah refers to events well-known to Christian believers, the form of its conveyance is strange and confusing to them, and may even – due to the choice of the place of recitation – be perceived as blasphemous.