Polish Contemporary Art at Museum Morsbroich
parable about social isolation: Off camera, a gentle voice whispers
messages such as “Check the fillings in your teeth” or “You feel good.”
“Good, good” answers a group of men riding around an airfield in
wheelchairs. Anna Molska’s and Wojciech Bakowski’s video work Completed
(2009) shows an absurd scenario – as though by remote control, the men
move within a large circle painted on the asphalt. But each rolls for
himself alone. There is no choreography, no sense of togetherness.
Twisted Entities. Contemporary Polish Art is the title of the exhibition at the Leverkusen Museum Morsbroich where Completed
is now on view, together with videos, installations, and sculptures
that show how vibrant the Polish art scene is. The “twisted” in the
exhibition title refers not only to Polish society or the self-image of
a new generation of artists. It is also about playing with media, about
the exchange between different genres and disciplines so typical of
many younger artists.
This trend has also long been reflected by “Views,” the most important prize for contemporary Polish art, initiated in 2003 by Warsaw’s Zacheta National Gallery together with Deutsche Bank Polska and the Deutsche Bank Foundation.
This fall, the award will presented for the sixth time. Every two
years, the artists nominated present their most recent works in the
National Gallery. That was the case with Completed. The
video, realized with the help of the Deutsche Bank Foundation, was
shown here in 2009. The exhibition in Morsbroich demonstrates how
important “Views” has become as a platform for young Polish art. Of the
14 artists featured in Twisted Entities, nine were nominated for the award, and three of them are among those who have won it.
One of them is Konrad Smoleński, who received the distinction in 2011. For The End of Radio
(2011), he installed a barricade consisting of dozens of microphones in
one of the museum’s rooms. Here the microphones do not serve to record
voices, though. On the contrary, distorted, overlapping voices gush
from the microphones. The End of Radio disseminates a
subliminal aggression, the feeling that the jumble of voices could
swell into ear-shattering noise at any moment. Smoleński also changes
perception of the exhibition space. Suddenly, the White Cube appears as
a place of latent menace. Whether Aneta Grzeszykowska dismembers her own naked body and then recomposes the fragments into new bizarre combinations in her video work Headache, or Monika Sosnowska transforms a barrier from the socialist era into a dynamic network of lines – in Twisted Entities objects, bodies, and spaces are deconstructed, shifted and turned, in order to question standards, orders, and rules.
Contemporary Polish Art
January 27 – April 28, 2013
Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen