Spectrum. From the Zachęta Video Collection Screenings in the ursula blickle videolounge

02.05 – 29.05.2011 Spectrum. From the Zachęta Video Collection Screenings in the ursula blickle videolounge

Kunsthalle Wien

Zachęta is an institution whose roots date back to the mid 19th century (as the Zachęta Fine Arts’ Society) and whose mission both was then, as it is now, the promotion of contemporary art, albeit understood rather differently in different epochs. Zachęta possesses its own collection of contemporary art, a collection whose particular character has been formed as a result of the historical changes the gallery has witnessed in Poland and at times been a participant in. After the Second World War, the enormous collections of Polish art gathered by the Zachęta Society of the Fine Arts during the 19th century were transferred to the National Museum. Meanwhile, in place of the Society was inaugurated the Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions, an institution designed to realize the then cultural politics of the state, an aim also realized through the purchase of works of art (in the times of real socialism, the State as the only patron purchased works from artists on a broad scale). This collection, uneven from an artistic perspective but fascinating from a political one, has been systematized and transformed into a genuine collection  by the Zachęta team only from the 90s onwards. For it was at this point, after the change of system, that Zachęta became a National Gallery under the aegis of the ministry of culture with an autonomous programme and the potential to make independent purchases of works for the collection.

The video collection was begun at the end of the 90s. As is the case for the remainder of the newest elements added to the collections, amongst the videos are to be found works of which Zachęta was the co-producer. A part of them was made on the requirements of exhibitions and projects organized by the gallery in Poland and overseas (such as the Venice Biennale).

The compilation of video presented in ursula blikle lounge is a selection of works from the Zachęta video collection. The programme of the thematic screenings of videos is a spectrum, in other words a certain organized selection of phenomena and concepts analysed by the films’ authors. It is a presentation of works of the newest video art in Poland, created by outstanding artists of the young and middle generation. The screenings that comprise the project Spectrum have been divided into the following thematic blocks: sound, gender, social portrait and roles. The selection made was dictated in part by the technical conditions of the place of presentation – the videos selected were one channel projections, whose theme and aesthetics made them appropriate to be shown in the proposed form. The choice of these works was also an attempt to underline the range of themes that Polish video artists engage with. It shows both a cross-section and the spectrum of problems relevant today in Polish art. This should not be treated as a full picture, but rather as an overview of Polish video art of the last two decades. The artists make use of a variety of film techniques – from animation to the aesthetics of documentaries, films or television (for example, reality shows). Through the medium of the camera, they record the signs of the times in which they work.

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Spectrum. From the Zachęta Video Collection.
Screenings in the ursula blickle videolounge
Kunsthalle Wien

02–08.05.2011 SOUND
09–15.05.2011 GENDER
16–22.05.2011 ROLES
23–29.05.2011 SOCIAL PORTRAIT

SOUND

Sound, music and silence – we hear them around ourselves, our daily lives are played out in an audio-sphere determined by the environment in which we live and evolve, and also by our own physiological make-up. Only its disturbance or a change causes attention to be paid to the specificity of this sphere. Althamer creates an untypical audio background in the labyrinths of the Moscow metro by inviting a choir of professional singers to perform in a joint action. It is with the help of music that the characters of Katarzyna Kozyra’s fairy-tale Summertale communicate with one another and it is equally music which finally frees the unusual location of the film’s action as well as its heroes from the spell cast over them. In contrast, Anna Niesterowicz’s HH surprises the viewer with its total silence – by depriving the film of a soundtrack the attention of the viewer is concentrated on the gestures of the dancing girls. Karol Radziszewski, in the work Praise the Flowery Meadows, creates a duet: he records his singing, editing it in with songs sung by his grandmother. Artur Żmijewski, working with a deaf-and-dumb choir records very different sounds.

  • Paweł Althamer, Choir in the Moscow Metro, 2004, video, 13.05min
  • Katarzyna Kozyra, Summertale, 2008, video 19.58 min
  • Anna Niesterowicz Anna, HH, 2002, 9 min
  • Karol Radziszewski, Bless the Flowery Fields, 2007, 6.36 min
  • Artur Żmijewski, Singing Lesson 2, 2003, video, 16.3 min

GENDER

The question of gender, as a set of features that are as much cultural as physiological, as a defining instance in deciding the social functions of a person, has become an object of works by artists. Anna Baumgart, for example, returns to the tendency of the former stereotypical depiction of women: hysteria and ecstasy. Here work relates to the problem of the auto-aggressive behaviour of women that in the contemporary world has become a signal of psychological problems, despair, expressed in the language of the body – while still remaining a subject of taboo. Aldona is the portrait of a transsexual who tells of his/her life. Aldona’s day is at the same time the story of her transformation from a man into a housewife, caring for her partner, her appearance and the home. In the pop video Cheerleader, Katarzyna Kozyra comments on femininity as created by American stereotypes. Julia Wójcik in her turn, during a performance recorded in Zachęta’s Mały Salon, makes reference to the feminist manifesto-actions of the 1970s. The character HalfAWoman created by Jacek Malinowski is a woman suffereing from PDS (Pelvic Degeneration Syndrome), as a result of which she has lost half her body. The use of documentary conventions means that the viewer believes in this story without reservation. Illness has made it impossible for the heroine to participate in a society, although she herself has no desire for this to be the case.

  • Anna Baumgart, Ecstatics, Hysterics and other Saints, 2004, video, 11 min
  • Piotr Wysocki, Aldona, 2006, video, 15 min
  • Katarzyna Kozyra, Cheerleader, 2006, videoclip, 4.3 min
  • Julita Wójcik, Peeling potatoes, 2001, video, 10.05 min
  • Jacek Malinowski, HalfAWoman, 2000, video, 12.4 min

ROLES

Taking on the role of a different character is not something that in the works presented should be understood as remaining on the level of an actor’s “playing” a director’s instructions. It is rather a result of studio work and emotional experiences. In Marta Deskur’s work, children turn into wild animals: they bark at the viewer, take up threatening poses and strive for the associations that the given animals provoke in them. Paweł Kruk, in preparing for his degree work Larger Than Life, watched many interviews with Michael Jordan into order to play this figure more fully: the text spoken by the artist are fragments of authentic interviews by the sportsman, with care taken to repeat every gesture, mimic or pause of the recited phrase as closely as possible. The master of mystification Robert Kuśmirowski takes on the role of a cyclist who cycles a given distance on a motionless bike. Artur Żmijewski in Repetition makes reference to the famous Zimbardo experiment. Through this he demonstrates how human conduct is conditioned by particular social functions and the behavioural clichés attributed to them. Joanna Rajkowska in collaboration with the Freedom Theatre records actors’ workshops. The task the participants are set is to try to express the emotions linked to the tense political situation in Jenin and the social roles of those who participate in it.

  • Marta Deskur, This is Clara and This is Pico, 1998, video,  2.11 min, 4.39 min
  • Paweł Kruk, Langer than life, 200, 9.3 min
  • Robert Kuśmirowski, One Hour Ride on Time, 2007, video
  • Artur Żmijewski, Repetition, 2005, video, 40.2 min
  • Joanna Rajkowska, Camping Jenin, 2008, video, 34.2 min

SOCIAL PORTRAIT

From details to a general view – thus you could describe the strategies used by artists creating social portraits. AZORRO’s Family is a staged and over-exaggerated discussion between the members of a fictional family. A lazy afternoon drifts by with them discussing contemporary art and its classic artists. Unnatural dialogues on the theme of classic works of contemporary art reveal the artifice of the family relations. Bąkowski’s Spoken Movie is an anonymous portrait of a person and his frustrations. The thoughts of a participant in a grey and repetitive everyday are expressed in the specific language of the artist’s poetry. Alicja Karska’s Space design and organisation, on the other hand, is a portrait of a place – the artist returns to the ruins of a hotel, in which through a rhythmic choreography she recreates the routines of service: the uniforms, repetitive movements and continually the same retrodden paths. In a similar way, Julita Wójcik’s film Idyll concentrates the viewer’s attention on a place. The work presents the artist lying on the grass in the sun against an industrial background with the smoking chimneys of factories creating a worrying scratch on the overall view of the place. The artistic group WUNDERTEAM, in their turn, portray the homeless guard of the Magdalena Abakanowicz statue at the Citadel in Poznań. The comments of the hero of the film create an image of the people who view art in public space and lead to a wider reflection concerning the status of a work of art in today’s society.

  • Wojciech Bąkowski, Spoken Movie 3, 2004, video, 9.41 min
  • AZORRO, Family, 2004, video, 9.15 min
  • Alicja Karska, Space design and organisation, 2002, video, 9.1 min
  • Julita Wójcik, Idyll, 2004, video, 3.55 min
  • WUNDERTEAM, RV, 2005, video, 11.16 min

Artists' 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 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
  • Zdjęcie pracy Gold and Silver
    Gold and SilverJoanna Rajkowska2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Camping Jenin
    Camping JeninJoanna Rajkowska2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Love of a Man Named Dog
    The Love of a Man Named DogJoanna Rajkowska1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, I
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, II
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IIJoanna Rajkowska1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, III
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IIIJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IV
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IVJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, V
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VI
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VIJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VII
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VIIJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy Peeling Potatoes
    Peeling PotatoesJulita Wójcik2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy Idyll
    IdyllJulita Wójcik2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy Wavy Block
    Wavy BlockJulita Wójcik2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Feed the Heavenly Birds
    Feed the Heavenly BirdsJulita Wójcik2003
  • Zdjęcie pracy Network of Feeding the Heavenly Birds
    Network of Feeding the Heavenly BirdsJulita Wójcik2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy Wavy Block
    Wavy BlockJulita Wójcik2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy 40 Drawers
    40 DrawersArtur Żmijewski1995
  • Zdjęcie pracy Temperance and Work
    Temperance and WorkArtur Żmijewski1995
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Game of Tag
    The Game of TagArtur Żmijewski2000
  • Zdjęcie pracy Singing Lesson 2
    Singing Lesson 2Artur Żmijewski2003
  • Zdjęcie pracy Repetition
    RepetitionArtur Żmijewski2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Handle, from the series Eight
    Handle, from the series EightArtur Żmijewski, Sławomir Belina2000
  • Zdjęcie pracy Film
    FilmPaweł Althamer2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Pelago and Luka
    Pelago and LukaPaweł Althamer2003
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Boat and the Spacesuit
    The Boat and the SpacesuitPaweł Althamer1991
  • Zdjęcie pracy A User's Manual
    A User's ManualPaweł Althamer1991
  • Zdjęcie pracy Moscow Metro Choir
    Moscow Metro ChoirPaweł Althamer2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy HalfAWoman
    HalfAWomanJacek Malinowski2000
  • Zdjęcie pracy HalfAWoman 2
    HalfAWoman 2Jacek Malinowski2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy HalfAWoman... three years later
    HalfAWoman... three years laterJacek Malinowski2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Stain
    The StainJacek Malinowski2016
  • Zdjęcie pracy Spatial Planning and Organisation
    Spatial Planning and OrganisationAlicja Karska, Aleksandra Went2002
  • Zdjęcie pracy Gierek
    GierekAnna Niesterowicz1999
  • Zdjęcie pracy HH
    HHAnna Niesterowicz2002
  • Zdjęcie pracy Larger than Life
    Larger than LifePaweł Kruk2000
  • Zdjęcie pracy Manipulator
    ManipulatorPaweł Kruk2001
  • Zdjęcie pracy One Hour Bicycle Speeding
    One Hour Bicycle SpeedingRobert Kuśmirowski2007
  • Zdjęcie pracy Praise the Flowery Meadows
    Praise the Flowery MeadowsKarol Radziszewski2007
  • Zdjęcie pracy Wall
    WallKarol Radziszewski2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Ostrzeżenie
    OstrzeżenieKarol Radziszewski2009
  • Zdjęcie pracy Scotch pink (To Pee in a Bun)
    Scotch pink (To Pee in a Bun)Karol Radziszewski2009
  • Zdjęcie pracy Scotch pink
    Scotch pinkKarol Radziszewski2007
  • Zdjęcie pracy Spoken Movie 3
    Spoken Movie 3Wojciech Bąkowski2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Completed
    CompletedWojciech Bąkowski, Anna Molska2009
  • Zdjęcie pracy Aldona
    AldonaPiotr Wysocki2006
  • Zdjęcie pracy RV
    RV Wunderteam (Wojciech Duda, Rafał Jakubowicz i Maciej Kurak)2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Ecstatics, Histerics and other Saint Ladies
    Ecstatics, Histerics and other Saint LadiesAnna Baumgart2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy Sławomir Belina extroverted act, from series Eight
    Sławomir Belina extroverted act, from series EightAnna Baumgart, Sławomir Belina2000
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Marta Deskur1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Marta Deskur1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy Family
    Family Azorro (Oskar Dawicki, Igor Krenz, Wojtek Niedzielko, Łukasz Skąpski)2004
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Best Gallery
    The Best Gallery Azorro (Oskar Dawicki, Igor Krenz, Wojtek Niedzielko, Łukasz Skąpski)2002
  • Zdjęcie pracy Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Azorro (Oskar Dawicki, Igor Krenz, Wojtek Niedzielko, Łukasz Skąpski)2016
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Information

Spectrum. From the Zachęta Video Collection
Screenings in the ursula blickle videolounge
02.05 – 29.05.2011

Kunsthalle Wien
Karlsplatz Treitlstraße 2 1040 Vienna, Austria

Project organized in cooperation with Kunsthalle Wien ursula blikle lounge