Anna Baumgart | Józef Robakowski | Zuzanna Janin | Anna Janczyszyn | Anna Konik | Laura Pawela
„You Can’t Come Closer” presents video-works of Polish artists which build intimate narration dealing with various emotional states or social situations. What binds these works together is the revisiting of Poland’s video & film making tradition using the human body as a means of communication.lokal_30 is located in a pre-war house in Foksal Street, Warsaw. It serves as an alternative and complementary art space, which aims to create a venue for meetings and discussions where every participant has an equal voice. Adapting lokal_30 for its new function as an exhibition space was limited in that the removal of furniture was the only means of refurbishment so as to make more space for artistic activity and, eventually, exhibitions. All other traces of the previous tenants have been preserved. Lighter spots on the wall where paintings had once hung, or bookshelves outlined in dust. Owing to the decision not to sanitise the past in any way, the space has retained its exceptional informal atmosphere. In return anyone who contributes to the space in any way will have a place in its history.
lokal_30 make presentations and exhibitions of works by artists from Poland and from overseas, and run a number of collaborative projects within other venues and museums. Alongside being an exhibition space, lokal_30 also provides residencies for artists from Poland and overseas hosting meetings, lectures and performances. Over coffee and a light meal, participants of their regular breakfasts with the artist are able to view documentation of artworks and slide-shows, and take part in spontaneous performances.
Every breakfast is a unique event conceived entirely by the artist. There are also regular meetings with art curators, collectors, and theorists in the make-believe televiZJon studio run by artist Zuzanna Janin. Each televiZJon studio „production” is an exceptional encounter shaped by the personality of the special guest.
You Can’t Come Closer presents video-works of Polish artists which build intimate narration dealing with various emotional states or social situations. What binds these works together is the revisiting of Poland’s video & film making tradition using the human body as a means of communication. These new video-works will be accompanied by a live performance on the opening night by Main Referee Group, Aleksandra Kubiak and Karolina Wiktor who have been collaborating with each other for the past 5 years. They explore the borders of physical endurance and possibilities of emotional intimacy between each other.
Taking over Cell Project Space lokal-30 will inhabit the gallery for 4 days, recreating the atmosphere of their intriguing and intimate space back in Poland.
Poland has built a long tradition of avant-garde filmmaking and video work alongside some of the most extreme examples of performance and actionist works. This form of structuralism is evoked in Jozef Robakowski’s work My Video Masochisms. Since the 60s Robakowski has used the camera to register actions made on or with his own body. However rather than an impassive documentation, it explores possibilities of transferring physical aspects by interacting with and involving the video camera as a tool.
Another documentation of artistic action is the more recent video work Off the City of Anna Janczyszyn, who measures the city by crawling on its pavements. Crawling is a symbol of 'the debase’ and best describes humiliation, but for Janczyszyn it also functions as a process of catharsis.
The pervading faces of three women in Zuzanna Janin’s video In Between are a kind of video-confession. Using members of her family, the artist has built a type of saga and a narration without an ending. These 'talking heads’ are presented on an ordinary TV set in the privacy of a domestic space. The spectator is invited to sit cosily on the sofa and to take part in this family 'talk-show’.
Equally intimate there is a connection with the protagonists of Anna Konik’s video Transparency. The artist breaks their loneliness by employing the double projection as if to falsifying the situation – the monologue of one elderly character is played simultaneously to create a simulated dialogue. Konik introduces us into the intimate universe of her protagonists and at the same time she makes us the confidants of their memory.
Anna Baumgart’s video Truth is a film-footage from a Russian melodrama Flying Cranes (dir. Michail Kaltoziszwili), the winner of „The Golden Palm” at Cannes Festival in 1958. At the moment of a classic scene of a quarrel between two lovers, the protagonist’s face is replaced by the artist’s replacing herself as the romantic heroine. This seamless manipulation of film montage misleads as Anna Baumgart slips in and out of the narrative; an attempt to link the real and fictitious, highlighting the futility of making tangible aspirations of romantic love.
This bridging between the tangible and non-tangible is built by Laura Pawela in My Talent Insurance. Pawela resolves to visit underwriters of large insurance companies to apply for the possibility of insuring her talent as an artist. The video, which documents this research is realised by a hidden surveillance camera. 'Its bland matter of fact ness’ reinforces the authenticity of the research. Main Referee Group, Aleksandra Kubiak and Karolina Wiktor who collaborate as a performance group will interact with the event and the audience on the opening night.
curated by Agnieszka Rayzacher