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Unfolding Memoirs (2) - The Exhibition (26.4.07)

 

 

Slawomir Sobczak | Agata Michowska | Anna Tyczyńska | Joanna Hoffmann | Marek Wasilewski’s


Polish artists’ installation

The idea of taking the subject of “Unfolding memoirs” came from the Israeli artists visiting Poznań during September and October 2006. They went to Poznań and to Poland looking for “unfolding memoirs” of their ancestors living there in the past, discovering traces of their own cultural identity and confronting this experience with the realities of a present day. Their exhibition at ON gallery in Poznań was strongly influenced not only by individual but also by group memory of the society they are coming from. It was very interesting to observe how in case of this exhibition individual points of view, private stories form a clear and positive version of collective memory. The project of exchanging not only the exhibitions but also our memoirs is very exciting; it is the idea of giving a real part of ourselves to each other.
Five artists from Poznań come to Israel with apparently different agenda. Their “Unfolding memoirs” in context of Jerusalem may be a quest for the roots of cultural identity rather then personal.  Our problems with memory and memoirs is very complex since for many years under different political regimes past was not like a rock, but more like clay that was shaped and manipulated according to  actual needs. That’s why for us there is always a great gap between private memory of the individual or of the family and the official version of memory controlled by the society. If it is true what essayist and art critic Pawel Leszkowicz writes, that Polish society is involved in an ongoing debate concerning the closed and open forms of expression, relationships, gender and sexuality, than we can only deal with conflicted memories and identities..
Each of the artists participating in the project comes with a single “small narration” that is strongly marked by individual experience of looking for their own personal unfolding memoirs and points of reference. It may be the memory of a childhood; it may be identification of gender. There are many different ways and attitudes, but there are few factors that form common denominator of this group. Five artists from Poznań are graduates of Poznań Academy of Fine Arts; they share almost the same generation experience and are in different ways connected to the ON gallery. This little space is a meeting point for many artists, as it happens in case of our project.

                                                                                                          Marek Wasilewski, Poland.


Slawomir Sobczak

Sławomir Sobczak is looking in his work for a dialog with physical and mental forms of interactivity. He recalls the basic common experiences of fear and weakness. He likes to create tensions, emotions, curiosity and discomfort. His works are often deprived from the so called art objects; they are ephemeral and carefully situated in the zone of ambiguity. Ryszard Kluszczyński writes that: pluralism is the power of his creation and proves his searches authenticity and independence, which are so difficult to achieve in a contemporary world of mutual influences and interactions.”
„W swojej twórczości zajmuje się poszukiwaniami form dialogu, interaktywnością - zarówno na poziomie mentalnym jak i fizycznym. Odwołuje do podstawowych emocji tkwiących w każdym z nas  i doświadczaniu własnych odczuć, słabości itp. Często moje prace są celowo pozbawiane przedmiotowości obiektu artystycznego, bywają w pełni efemeryczne. Rozgrywają się głównie w przestrzeniach „pomiędzy”.

Sławomir Sobczak. Scream. Screen of activity. Interactive installation. 2006. Video still


Agata Michowska

Over the years, Agata Michowska has refined and perfected her formally and aesthetically pure forms, which to an ever-increasing extent take into consideration the space in which they are found and carry on an increasingly intense dialogue with architecture. Agata Michowska”s self-reflectivity and elegantly concealed irony are evidence of a great creative maturity. Freeing herself from the demands of convention in the use of a given medium, form or style, while maintaining the discipline of minimalism, her latest works create a dialog among various forms: sculpture, objects, photography, and video which in spite of its seeming incongruity, is focused precisely around a central crossing point.

Agata Michowska. JOSHUA. .2006. Video stills


Anna Tyczyńska

Pawel Leszkowicz writes that the art of shows sensuality in a more abstract way than the other works, that they often imply the mysteries of erotic matter in a very decorative and sensual way. For Monika Bake the power of meaning of this works originates also from touch. The artist polishes, bathes, wraps them domesticating shape and giving it expression. Tyczyńska works in the area of video, photography and installation. She often draws our attention to childhood or rather to the context of saving a child in oneself.

Anna Tyczyńska. Coma. Installation. Photo Jacek Zydorowicz. Detail


Joanna Hoffmann

Joanna Hoffmann has been interested for the last few years in links between sound and visual. Her work focused on relations between metaphor and concreteness of the place, she was interested in heartbeat and its notations as the most intimate and yet anonymous tokens of our existence. Her interest in the notion of macro –world fulfilling itself in micro-reality of individual experience manifested itself in a series of works.
“Yet he had made a garden and his occupation now was imaging another garden, difficult and fantastical, made from nothing and brought to life. He would wall it just as he had walled Hesperides, and he knew that his happiest time was inside those self-made walls. True and not true.                                                                                                              "His walls, his door in the wall, and always half open when he was inside. Only locked when he had gone. He jealously protected his boundaries from intrusion by others- that was why he had gone to war against the gods in the first place - though they would say he had invaded what belonged to them. Demarcation, check-points, border controls. And all in the name of freedom. Freedom for me means curbing you.(...)
His Dreams were always the same; boundaries, desires. The boundary of what he was and the desire of infinite space
Jannete Winterson  „Weight”

Joanna Hoffmann. Beyond the line of eyelids. Travel.  2004/05. Video still


Marek Wasilewski’s

Joanna Janiak writes that: Marek Wasilewski’s work immerses us in the element of social space – it is subtle and draws our attention to a detail. His work is in a sense also ephemeral because the probability of reading the assumptions made at the beginning by the artist is uncertain, even minute – so small in fact that in his work is automatically included ambiguity and multitude of interpretations, and even uneasiness of confusion. This work uses an icon taken from the jungle or even the chaos of visual advertising culture and confronts us with the task resembling looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. If it happens that we find it, the adventure will start – if not, well, sailing on the ocean of associations can also be fun.

Marek Wasilewski. Polish Forest. 10 min.  2006. Video still


With the support of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division for Cultural & Scientific Relations., Jerusalem, Israel and the Israel  Embassy, Warsaw, Poland., The Adam Mikiewitz Institute, Poland

 

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