We use cookies to enhance your user experience. Learn more here.

No. 21

Our Zachęta Online Magazine opens the new year with issue number 21… This blackjack number has inspired us to dig into our film collection. The selected films speak volumes about the artists’ fascination with cinema and film genres, such as mock-document, horror, and animation.

“The story of my »film making« is rather complicated. It all started with my fear of the cinema, of giving it a try. I thought it was a total experience, that’s why. You can’t make a film on your own, because you need to handle lots of problems, e.g. of technical nature, and I always thought it was beyond my reach”, said Jacek Malinowski in 2016, commenting on his Bi-Polar exhibition. The sculptor began to make films at the beginning of the 2000s, intuitively choosing mockdocumentary, a genre that was practically unknown in Poland at that time. We recall the interview with Malinowski and the second part of his trilogy HalfAWoman (Półkobieta).

Paweł Althamer’s Film was shot in Warsaw’s Praga district as part of the exhibition Paweł Althamer’s encouragement. This a trailer of a feature film with well-known actors – Mirosław Baka, Agnieszka Grochowska, Jacek Braciak and Marek Frąckowiak – accompanied by extras played characters typical of this area of Poland’s capital.

Visual artist and performer Przemek Barnas, winner of the second prize at Spojrzenia/Views 2017, entered the competition with a film shot in one take, in which he connected the history of Zachęta with the institution’s present-day context, and juxtaposed Chris Burden’s historical performance Shoot with the assassination of the Russian ambassador at the opening of an exhibition in Ankara. In the five-minute film, the movement of the camera and the characters appearing on screen are put together in a precise choreography, bringing to mind such masterful shots as the famous finale of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Passenger.

Our virtual film marathon could not fail to feature Katarzyna Kozyra and her Summertale, made as part of the project In Art Dreams Come True. Like Alice in Wonderland, the artist and her companions Maestro and Gloria Viagra step into the fairy-tale world of a beautiful garden. The idyllic atmosphere turns into a splatter film, with hate and fear of strangers hidden under the guise of kind-heartedness and openness.

We finish this issue of our magazine with Wojciech Bąkowski’s animation Spoken Movie 3, a reference to Julian Antonisz’s non-camera cinema. The 2013 exhibition A Few Practical Ways to Prolong One’s Life (curators: Ewa Borysiewicz and Joanna Kordjak) was also a tribute to the legendary animator and inventor of cinematographic machines. We revisit it by means of its accompanying folder.

Enjoy your watching and reading!