Thursday, August 6, 2009

We Would Like You To Know That We Are Not Them


We Would Like You To Know That We Are Not Them

ARTIST FILMS FROM LOKAL_30_WARSZAWA_LONDON

videos by:

ANNA BAUMGART, Thrue, 2001,
ZUZANNA JANIN, FIGHT, 2001-2009
TOMASZ KOZAK, Yoga Lesson, 2007
NORMAN LETO, Buttes Monteaux, 2008
ELODIE PONG, Secrets for Sale, 2003
KAROL RADZISZEWSKI, Chwalcie Ĺ‚aki umajone, 2006
JOZEF ROBAKOWSKI, From My Window, 1978-2000
JASMINA WOJCIK, Samsara, 2008

opening 5 AUG 2009 at 6 p.m.
RSA FINLAY ROOM

show open from 6 AUG till 13 SEPT 2009

THE ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY OF ART & ARCHITECTURE
THE MOUND, EDINBURGH, EH2 2EL

We Would Like You To Know That We Are Not Them

"Whether I’m painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I’m not working, I’m still analyzing people."
Kasimir Malevich

"Creating a video art exhibition that focuses on the artist’s image and intrinsic self-commentary seems to be a very special task. A piece of art appears to be here a vehicle for remarkable, almost direct encounter of the viewer with the artist.

In the exhibition We Would Like You To Know That We Are Not Them, the artists each show the world from a very distinctive outlook; they adopt the roles of an actor, narrator, commentator or collector of the images of reality, which they witness together with the public. Therefore, they enable us to find themselves in the situations/images which they have created for us.

People mostly tend to put an equation sign between the artist and his/her artwork. However, history shows that this relation has evolved in time. Nowadays, the artist rarely has anything in common with the archetype of the romantic creator held by the power of whimsical inspiration. Among the new roles, one can point out a role of a social critic, and even a kind of intermediary who connects philosophy, anthropology and even sciences with the real fabric of the world. Furthermore, the artist adopts with increasing frequency, managerial responsibilities of production processes. Consequently, masterhood in the arts is getting abandoned; it results in simple amateur camera shots and homemade video sequences. Simple form and documental features win over creativity and artificiality of film craftsmanship.

One of the most important strategies in contemporary art appears to be the strategy of incarnation, i.e. playing roles which are a kind of simulacrum of real acting. As a result of this strategy, artworks of great authenticity and honesty have been created, strict and rigid, when compared to the other areas of arts, where artists often are trying to astonish or charm the viewer. In these cases, the artist does not charm and does not flirt with the public. Instead, they incorporate themselves into the situation and by their very presence emphasise the meaning of the situation.

Additionally, what should be seen in this context is a need of the artist to experience the world that has been given to them - as if it was not enough for the artist to be an artist; as if it was necessary for them to compensate for the vague status of the contemporary artist by playing an identifiable role of being someone else - a she-boxer, or a romantic heroine from a black and white movie.

Karol Radziszewski, a young artist, publisher and editor of the gay artzine DIK Fagazine, has had challenges of a somewhat different kind to overcome. Usually, he invites his family to take part in his projects. By doing so, he creates a twofold image of himself: a young artist after coming out, consistent in his actions with his preferences on the one hand; and on the other, he appears to be a loving son and grandson, having his close relatives always in mind. As an instance, his grandmother, always ready to support him, often takes part as a leading character in his videos. In Chwalcie laki umajone (Praise the Lord, flowered meadows) (2007) Radziszewski appears as a singer to record, together with his grandmother, a video clip of traditional religious chant. To encounter a rebellious youngster with a devout old lady is not only the game and clash of contraries, but also a critical look at tradition, the unnatural adoption of devout patterns of behaviour, and burdensome restrictions imposed on the culture by religious upbringing. Once again, Radziszewski has created a situation of non-obviousness connected with the essence of the relation between himself and the characters of his works."

Agnieszka Rayzacher

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