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Bartek Buczek, “Too expensive, too weak, too difficult. Several selected recipes for an art work possible in the hypothetical fantasy world”

Bartek Buczek, apart from being a painter of works of art, is also a bouquiniste, an owner of an antique book shop, and he likes to emphasize this. In his painting, as well as when going beyond the boundaries of paintings, one can find not only literary inspiration, but also a melancholy atmosphere accompanying a focused reader, a thoughtful detective, who follows the development of plot threads and narratives. While working on his art in his own way by means of his creative personality, he remains patient. And this is how he plots stories that are almost real, whether on stretcher frames or in the pages of a book.

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.

Zorka Wollny, untitled

Zorka Wollny’s work situates itself between theatre, dance, music and visual arts. Her achievements include video films – distinguishing themselves with a pictorial vision – concerts and choreographic performances involving numerous actors (often realized together with Anna Szwajgier). In projects that refer to the form of an audiovisual show, the artist plays the role of director and producer, inviting musicians, actors, and dancers to cooperate, working with members of local communities, amateur clubs, and groups that share common interests. The essential element of her projects is space: works are created as a result of observing the existing conditions created by the architecture of the place, as well as penetrating its private, public, and institutional aspects.

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.

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.

Cecylia Malik, Piotr Pawlus, “6 rivers”

The movie 6 rivers, made in 2012, by the artist and camera operator Piotr Pawlus, is a record of an unusual journey along a waterway. It recalled the names of the six rivers of Kraków and showed their endangered beauty. The winding tributaries of the Wisła—Rudawa, Wilga, Dłubnia, Prądnik — which meander through narrow channels across post-industrial areas, burned stubble and riparian forests, echoing with bird song, pose quite a challenge for potential travellers. It is only during the last leg of their journey, that Malik and Pawlus navigate through settlements, housing estates and allotment gardens, more readily recognizable to Kraków’s inhabitants. In a boat of her own making, the artist negotiates mist-shrouded tunnels with branches hanging low above the water and echoing passageways; she goes through clusters of rubbish and the trunks of fallen trees; she struggles with fast stream currents, to finally sail out into the lazily sprawling waters of the Wisła. Using poetic imagery ranging between a documentary, a musical clip, and video work, she creates an obscure and atmospheric image of Kraków, in which the city’s outskirts get the upper hand over its centre.

Łukasz Jastrubczak, “Need for Speed”

Łukasz Jastrubczak’s Need for Speed is the artist’s journey following the trail of forms and symbols that transformed the natural landscape into the subject of reflection and culture. Already, the first frames of the film evoke recognizable themes of cinematography and art history, arranging them into a mysterious sequence. The filming scene begins with the image of a blue mountain, which, in the artistic interpretations of a number of artists – including the most famous version by Jan Domela from the 1950s – became a characteristic logo of Paramount Pictures, ceremonially announcing many of the classic Hollywood movie titles.

Anna Senkara, “Nobleman”

A film Szlachcic [Nobleman], is a record of the artist’s conversation with Roman Szlachcic, son of Franciszek, a high dignitary of the Communist Poland (PRL) government. This nostalgic tale exposes personal attempts to interpret history, points to the political motives of a bygone era, and touches upon the topic of delicate family relationships. In the eyes of his son, Franciszek Szlachcic was an outstanding personality. He started his career as a worker, went through almost all levels of partisan activity, became a high-ranking public security officer, Minister of Interior in 1971, Edward Gierek’s deputy and, for two years, until 1976, deputy prime minister. After this period, Franciszek Szlachcic’s good fortune came to an end. He was removed from politics overnight and lost all his previous influence and privileges. The only symbol of his lost prestige was a larch wood villa built a few years earlier in Magdalenka near Warsaw, where his son still lives today.

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.