In Search of Impossible Art
The Zachęta Presents the Views Nominees for 2013
is the most prestigious award for contemporary Polish art. Since 2003,
the Views Prize has been awarded biannually in Warsaw. Views was
initiated by the Zachęta National Gallery, Deutsche Bank Polska, and
the Deutsche Bank Stiftung. Now the current nominees for the prize are
exclusively showing new works at the Zacheta for the first time.
||A star-studded cast in “artist heaven”: In her video work Future Days, Agnieszka Polska has deceased artists such as Lee Lozano, Charlotte Posenenske, and Bas Jan Ader search together for “impossible art.” The 1960s art legends are accompanied by Włodzimierz Borowski and Jerzy Ludwiński,
two influential proponents of the Polish avant-garde. During their
search Polska’s characters, wearing masks with the facial expressions
of the respective artists, cross meadows and forests on the Swedish
island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. What all of the protagonists of Future Days
have in common is that they are appreciated as artists primarily by
other artists. And they worked on radical alternatives to common
notions of art, only to fail in the end. They don’t find what they’re
looking for in the afterlife either; they can’t even realize their
ideas in the otherworld. At the end of the video, the group watches a
solar eclipse accompanied by a melancholy song. Instead of “impossible
art” they at least find a sense of community.
The at once ironic
and melancholy video is typical of the work of the artist (born in
1985), who repeatedly engages with 20th-century art movements. Future Days is being shown in an exhibition of the artists nominated for the Views Prize currently on view in the Zachęta National Gallery
in Warsaw. Every two years, artists selected by a jury of experts show
what contemporary Polish artists are currently occupied with.
While this year the five nominees use a range of media, the focus is on film works. As in Agnieszka Polska’s film, the film by Łukasz Jastrubczak,
which was shot in Florence, takes the history of art as its theme. In
the center of the Renaissance capital, a bohemian-like artist type
seems to collapse under the weight of art history.
Karolina Bregula’s video Offence
satirizes current fears about social change. The main character is a
civil servant in a fictive provincial town who views himself as a
pioneer of modernity and progress. Bregula completed her studies at the
National Film School in Łódź, where Roman Polanski studied before her. And the absurd humor of her documentary film parody indeed recalls the early films of the famous director.
contribution to “Views” consists of a video and series of object
collages. For his film, he animated some of these objects and combined
them with poetic texts. While Bosacki prefers to work with simple
materials such as cardboard and wire, Tymek Borowski’s posters are characterized by gaudy Internet and advertising aesthetics. In the Zachęta he is presenting BECAUSE IT IS, HOW IT IS,
a wall-filling collage created on the computer out of fragments of
paintings, comics, and slogans such as “Do something stupid every day.”
The work reflects the overkill of images in the virtual world and is
logically signed TYMEKBOROWSKI.COM.
with the production and reception of art. For example one of his videos
shows a colorfully striped circus tent on which the words “Art
World” are written. A speech bubble promises that a young artist
waiting in front of the tent with his portfolio “will be loved,
admired, and respected” in the art scene. We will find out whether
Borowski wins this year’s Views Prize, endowed with 15,000 euros, on
October 24 when the winner will be announced during a festive ceremony.
Until November 17, 2013
Zachęta National Gallery, Warsaw