Wednesday, November 28, 2012

America Is Not Ready For This

I'm happy to invite you for the opening of my solo exhibition at Wroclaw Contemporary Museum

America Is Not Ready For This
opening: 30.11.12 (Friday), 6 PM

One wouldn’t really expect that 34 years after Natalia LL visited New York on a Kościuszko Foundation scholarship there would still be some traces of her visit to be uncovered. In spite of that, in 2011 Karol Radziszewski decided to hit the trail and meet the artists and art dealers she met in 1977. With only a couple of black and white photographs and names of people she met, jotted down while listening to Natalia’s stories, Radziszewski undertook a unique research trip, which became a starting point in the search for parallels between his and Natalia LL’s artistic practice.

The exhibition is the result of these meetings and consists of documentation of the interviews with i.a. Vito Acconci, Carolee Schneemann and Marina Abramović, correspondence with artists and archival photos from the United States. All of this forms a new image of an artist crucial to Polish art history. “America is not ready for this” – the words of Leo Castelli, a famous art dealer and collector, uttered while viewing Natalia’s works, didn’t necessarily discredit her art in the eyes of American spectators. Instead we can think of her visit, during which she both investigated art and tried to define her own artistic position, as the clash of two, completely isolated worlds. On the one hand – the New York bohemian lifestyle, where the cult of the artist ( the white, heterosexual celebrity) still prevailed. On the other – the perspective of a female artist from Europe, specifically from the Soviet Bloc, where people thought that the issue of women’s emancipation has already been solved and normalized within the system. One of the most important works of Natalia LL from 1972 – “Consumer art” belied both of these beliefs. Eating a banana in an erotic way was one thing for Americans, while meaning something completely different to the citizens of the Polish People’s Republic.

What is interesting, the time that has passed between these two journeys did not completely level these differences. To Karol, Natalia’s story seemed so interesting precisely because of the similarities of their experiences. Both were proclaimed as the representatives of new phenomena in Polish art. At the time of her visit in New York Natalia was interested in the feminist discourse in art, which was in fact relatively unknown in Poland. Karol is perceived as one of the most important artists working on queer themes. In America these two issues were (and are) understood differently than in Poland – this difference is one of the topics of the conversations between Radziszewski and the artists interviewed on the occasion of his search for Natalia’s traces. The film, consisting among others of clips from these interviews, is a special homage to Natalia LL, but one that is indirect and deprived of monumental character. His task is not only to reconstruct the memories of the 1977 journey, but also to take a close look at the rules of the art world game, a game organizing the existence of artists – both then and now.

The project was developed in collaboration with Residency Unlimited, with the support of the Polish Culture Institute in New York.

Curator Piotr Stasiowski

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MS 101 at Zacheta

A few pics from tonight's screening of my MS 101 film at Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

MS 101 w Warszawie

Zapraszam serdecznie na pierwszy warszawski pokaz filmu "MS 101" oraz spotkanie z autorami (Karolem Radziszewskim i Wojciechem Szymańskim).

prowadzenie: Dorota Sajewska

Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki
sala multimedialna
wejście od ul. Burschego
wstęp wolny

MS 101
2012, 50 min
reż. Karol Radziszewski
scen. Wojciech Szymański

Scenariusz filmu „MS 101" został oparty na kanwie wydarzeń, które miały miejsce w 1914 roku podczas I wojny światowej. Jest to historia trójkąta miłosnego, na jaki składa się korespondencyjna jedynie znajomość poety Georga Trakla i filozofa Ludwiga Wittgensteina - których łączyła namiętność choć nigdy się nie spotkali - oraz utrzymywany również listownie romans filozofa z brytyjskim matematykiem Davidem Pinsentem. Opowieść ta jest jednocześnie zapisem ostatnich dni życia Trakla, który 3 listopada 1914 roku popełnił samobójstwo.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Artysta – kurator – instytucja – odbiorca

Wydana przez Galerię Miejską Arsenał książka „Artysta – kurator – instytucja – odbiorca. Przestrzenie autonomii i modele krytyki” gromadzi analizy krytyczne, ukierunkowane na badanie relacji zachodzących między uczestnikami współczesnego świata sztuki, którego umowne i przepuszczalne bez wątpienia ramy wyznacza tytułowy czworokąt.

Teksty autorstwa teoretyków i praktyków łączy przekonanie o konieczności krytycznej reorientacji i stałej, czujnej obserwacji dynamiki relacji, zachodzących między głównymi aktorami świata sztuki. Dynamiki wymykającej się dziś nierzadko dobrze rozpoznanym na gruncie historii i teorii sztuki opozycjom: autonomia – zaangażowanie. Opierającej się także zwodniczemu odróżnieniu praktyk instytucjonalnych od krytyki instytucji jako, trudnemu do podtrzymania w dzisiejszych warunkach, wyznacznikowi  postaw systemowych i antysystemowych.

red. Marta Kosińska, Karolina Sikorska, Agata Skórzyńska, Galeria Miejska Arsenał, Poznań 2012

Foto: Magda Szcześniak

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

AINRFT – work in progress

I'm working on "America Is Not Ready For This" project – more details soon (above the still from my film).

"It used to be that people would come into galleries and nobody had to tell them what the painting was about, what a sculpture was. Now people came to galleries and a gallery dealer could say: "Here is this tin can. In it is Manzoni's 'Shit' and it's worth a lot of money," And the collector wants to buy it. We did exactly the opposite of what we thought we could do – we thought we will ruin the galleries and we made them stronger than they ever were." Vito Acconci

Sunday, November 18, 2012


DIK Fagazine is featured in:

17-19 NOVEMBER 2012, 11am-8pm

Nofound photo fair, the contemporary photography fair in Paris, aims to organise a meeting ground between people involved in the world of the photographic image, through unique and original projects.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Staging Leigh Bowery

A few pics from XTRAVAGANZA. Staging Leigh Bowery great exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien.
All pics by me.

nice eruption :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kisieland in Vienna

My new installation (part of the ongoing "Kisieland" project) at Rosa Arbeit auf goldener Strasse exhibition, "xhibit" Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. A short description of the project below.

In 2008, I began work on a special issue of my self-published periodical, "DIK Fagazine". It was entirely devoted to the life of homosexuals in Central and Eastern Europe before 1989. This is how I came across Ryszard Kisiel, among others. At first I only knew that in the 1980s he had been publishing "Filo", the first - half-legally distributed among friends - gay zine in this part of Europe. During subsequent meetings that took place at Kisiel's home in Gdansk, I had a chance to get acquainted with his extensive archive, which allowed me to discover new facts about the gay community of the period and learn about various aspects of his activities.
One day Ryszard pulled out a plastic bag full of carefully annotated boxes containing almost 300 colour slides. As it turned out, these were documented photographic sessions arranged by Kisiel and his friends in one of their private apartments. The slides were made at the end of 1985 and the beginning of 1986 as a direct reaction to the "Hyacinth" action (a large-scale operation of Citizens' Militia whose objective was to collect information about Polish gays and their environment, and which resulted in the registering of around 11000 personal files). As Kisiel admits: "Once they started to uncover us, there was no point in staying hidden any more. We had nothing to lose, so we decided to do our own thing and not be bothered by anything."
The slides I discovered do not seem shocking; however, they break with stereotypical ways of thinking about that time in the People's Republic of Poland and are a specific visual testimony of the period. They challenge the image of the homosexual as a hounted victim, revealing instead a great potential for positive energy, irony (even towards such taboo subjects as AIDS) and most of all self-irony, which today's LGBT activists often miss.

The project "Kisieland" is assumed to involve long-term activities, beginning with the conversations' recording, through the process of organizing and digitizing the slides, a documentary film, publishing a book and presenting various materials in the form of exhibitions. Placing Kisiel's archive in the context of the arts is a chance to restore/reveal but also to discover its critical potential. It is also an opportunity to complement Polish visual history with hitherto ignored motifs.

Rosa Arbeit auf goldender Strasse – opening

Monday, November 5, 2012

my new installation in Vienna

First view of my new installation - AIDS wallpaper (part of the Kisieland project) at the Rosa Arbeit auf goldender Strasse exhibition in Vienna. Opening this weekend.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I don't want to be alternative anymore!

My new work at the windows of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw at "The Call of Fashion" exhibition / Warsaw Under Construction festival. To be seen until the 18 of November.