VIEWS 2019 Deutsche Bank Award
18.05 – 30.06.2019 VIEWS 2019 Deutsche Bank Award
artists: KEM, Tomasz Kowalski, Gizela Mickiewicz, Dominika Olszowy, Liliana Piskorska
curator: Michał Jachuła
cooperation: Maria Świerżewska
visual identity: Łukasz Paluch
Views is the most important competition in Poland addressed to artists who are young, but already present on the Polish art scene. Organised continuously on a biannual basis since 2003, it showcases the most interesting phenomena on the art scene. It was initiated by two institutions: Zachęta — National Gallery of Art and Deutsche Bank Polska, which have been carrying out this project together to this day. The aim of the competition is to honour outstanding attitudes on the young artistic scene, but it is not addressed to debut artists. Nominated artists must already have some achievements to their name which is why age limit was set at 36 years. The competition is held in two stages. The artists participating in the competition are selected by a nomination committee, and the winners — during the exhibition at Zachęta — by an international jury.
This year’s Views is the ninth edition of the competition. Only artists — winners of all previous editions of Views — were invited to form the nomination committee. The five finalists were chosen by Elżbieta Jabłońska, Maciej Kurak, Janek Simon, Wojciech Bąkowski, Konrad Smoleński, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Iza Tarasewicz and Honorata Martin.
The qualified participants of Views 2019 — Deutsche Bank Award include Tomasz Kowalski, Gizela Mickiewicz, Dominika Olszowy, Liliana Piskorska and the artistic group Kem.
This year’s nominees represent a very diverse approach to art, both in terms of the media they use and the topics they cover, which reflects in an interesting way the spectrum of current artistic interests on our stage. On the one hand, we encounter activities extremely involved in contemporary social problems ‘here and now’, such as tolerance, freedom, human rights, on the other, more focused on personal experiences, rooted elsewhere in the metaphysics and space of the human unconscious.
As part of Views, Tomasz Kowalski presents works rooted in the space of sleep and the space of mind in the visual language he has developed, marked by the influences of surrealism and post-modernist literature. In them, he questions the fundamental laws of physics; space and time become the object of free manipulation. The collection of works on the subconscious, apart from painting, also includes a tapestry made by the artist with his mother, Alicja Kowalska, and a relief made with his father, Donat Kowalski. Both works are an expression of interest in the possibilities of translating a painting into another technique, they also concern the issue of losing one’s own painting gesture and thus control over the medium.
The sculpture The Loneliness of Views by Gizela Mickiewicz is composed of eight sections without a clear compositional centre. Each of the free-standing, openwork forms is made of transparent materials and the work is intended to provide as many views as possible. According to the artist’s concept, the sculpture cannot be seen as a whole — it cannot be encompassed in one view. Mickiewicz’s work shapes various images of the surrounding space.
Dominika Olszowy prepared a two-part installation entitled The Wake, which resembles the visualisation of a dream with a motif of a ceremony dedicated to bidding farewell to a departed person, and relief and consolation for those who say goodbye to her loved ones. Olszowy refers both to funeral rituals and to the wake, understood as a failed party. The work in the form of an installation and a video shows the remains of the party. It is built of food leftovers with tables and tablecloths turned upside down, hiding inside the secrets of life.
Liliana Piskorska presents a set of three new works that create a story about non-normativity — in the perspective of real events, using personal experiences of real people. The video Strong Sisters Told the Brothers is based on three historical texts dedicated to the lesbian movement. It concerns the visibility and invisibility of lesbians in the public sphere, in the context of the current situation of minorities and in relation to the specificity of the Polish language. The draft text A Well-Written Law on banning the promotion of homosexuality and gender in public spaces is based on the Russian law in force, which implements these principles. The brooch-symbol entitled Fifth Column consists of ornament of violets, a double-edged sword motif and the motto ‘Hétéro c’est collabo’.
The project by the Kem group (Krzysztof Bagiński, Anna Miczko, Aleksandra Knychalska, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins) will take the form of a performance at the exhibition opening and a programme of weekly meetings of the reading club. The activities of Kem and the invited people working with the group focus on language and the emotions inscribed in it. Violence, tenderness and eroticism analysed from a queer-feminist perspective are the subject of interest here.
The main prize of the Views 2019 competition is 60,000 PLN. The winner will be announced on 6 June. An audience award winner is additionally selected in a general vote that concludes with the exhibition.
Deutsche Bank Award
18.05 – 30.06.2019
Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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Tuesday – Sunday 12–8 p.m.
Thursday – free entry
ticket office is open until 7.30 p.m.