Katarzyna Kozyra Looking for Jesus. Library

01.12.2022 – 05.02.2023 Katarzyna Kozyra Looking for Jesus. Library

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

curator: Andrzej Wajs

The starting point of the project Looking for Jesus. Library was a fascination with the cultural-religious phenomenon known as ‘Jerusalem syndrome’. The artist has always been interested in the question of identity and the role others play in constructing or erasing it. In the case of people marked by this syndrome, Kozyra encountered a problem expressed in the question posed by her characters: is there a strong blocking mechanism of denial standing in the way of finding our own identity, introduced into our experience by the ego? And by the Others representing it, with their dictates of single-channel narratives, of which the Man of Nazareth is a contradiction?

The beginning of the filming, the recording of conversations and scenes is characterised by the curiosity of the artist looking for a figure confronting Jesus among her interlocutors. Over time, this curiosity gives way to a strong attachment to people and an attempt to define their relationship with herself. What was meant to be an investigation becomes a mutual ‘search for faces’ — suddenly the entire film becomes a diary of the artist’s journey, an attempt to find herself in a world we don’t generally encounter AND giving up on the popular clichés of cultural-religious kitsch. A story of lack and craving. Silent in her image, Jesus appears against the backdrop of the incidents and narratives of his ‘apostles’ — they are the ones who speak and act, authorised by the Messiah, an invisible energy which they fondly describe as a consuming fire or light.

At this point, relationships are established for which descriptions of the usual aesthetic form are no longer sufficient. The story completes itself, revealing a new and unexpected horizon. It becomes a library — not of a problem, but of slowly growing volumes — introducing an expanded space of reading, before which the splendour of the museum and the gallery, with their age-old ideal of sterile contemplation, must yield.

The images become books, and their totality, in turn, is also the The Book, the mythical one that Stéphane Mallarmé once told us about.

The transition to the format of the project as a Library had to be combined with a reduction in exhibition space. In this way, the artist expresses the need to purify the field of glamour in a ‘time of vanity’, while articulating her desire to say goodbye to the ‘myth of exhibition’ in favour of a personal and collective reading.

Artist's works in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy Madonna from Regensburg
    Madonna from RegensburgKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Olimpia
    OlimpiaKatarzyna Kozyra1996
  • Zdjęcie pracy Cheerleader
    CheerleaderKatarzyna Kozyra2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy A Quarter of an Hour
    A Quarter of an HourKatarzyna Kozyra2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy Summertale
    SummertaleKatarzyna Kozyra2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Lords of the dance
    Lords of the danceKatarzyna Kozyra2002
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Bathhouse
    The BathhouseKatarzyna Kozyra1997
  • Zdjęcie pracy Punishment and Crime
    Punishment and CrimeKatarzyna Kozyra2002
  • Zdjęcie pracy Dance Lesson
    Dance LessonKatarzyna Kozyra2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Rite of Spring
    The Rite of SpringKatarzyna Kozyra1999
  • Zdjęcie pracy Blood Ties
    Blood TiesKatarzyna Kozyra1995
  • Zdjęcie pracy Non so piu
    Non so piuKatarzyna Kozyra2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Castrate / Il Castrato
    The Castrate / Il CastratoKatarzyna Kozyra2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Castrate / Il Castrato
    The Castrate / Il CastratoKatarzyna Kozyra2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy Pyramid of Animals
    Pyramid of AnimalsKatarzyna Kozyra1993
  • Zdjęcie pracy Men's Bathhouse
    Men's BathhouseKatarzyna Kozyra1999
  • Zdjęcie pracy In Art Dreams Come True
    In Art Dreams Come TrueKatarzyna Kozyra2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy Faces
    FacesKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Katarzyna Kozyra1991
  • Zdjęcie pracy Casting. Tel Aviv
    Casting. Tel AvivKatarzyna Kozyra2011
  • Zdjęcie pracy Beauty-Preview with Gloria Viagra
    Beauty-Preview with Gloria ViagraKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Stairs from the series Boys
    Stairs from the series BoysKatarzyna Kozyra2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy Spears from the series Boys
    Spears from the series BoysKatarzyna Kozyra2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy Ragazzi from the series Boys
    Ragazzi from the series Boys Katarzyna Kozyra2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy Madonna from Pelago
    Madonna from PelagoKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Teatro di cani. Lou Salome a Roma
    Teatro di cani. Lou Salome a RomaKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Appearance as Lou Salome
    Appearance as Lou SalomeKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Nightmare
    The NightmareKatarzyna Kozyra2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy Facade Concert
    Facade ConcertKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Diva: Reincarnation
    Diva: ReincarnationKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Tribute to Gloria Viagra: Birthday party
    Tribute to Gloria Viagra: Birthday partyKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Winter's Tale
    The Winter's TaleKatarzyna Kozyra2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Midget Gallery
    The Midget GalleryKatarzyna Kozyra2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy It's better to know nothing, from series Eight
    It's better to know nothing, from series EightKatarzyna Kozyra, Sławomir Belina2000
Related media
  • Grafika obiektu: Katarzyna Kozyra
    mediateka / posters
    Katarzyna Kozyra
    Looking for Jesus. Library
Related events
  • 20.01 (Fri) 12:15
    Looking/Seeing. Contemporary art and the seniors
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta


Katarzyna Kozyra
Looking for Jesus. Library
01.12.2022 – 05.02.2023

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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Godziny otwarcia:
Tuesday – Sunday 12–8 p.m.
Thursday – free entry
ticket office is open until 7.30 p.m.