Nächst St. Stephan

Aneta Grzeszykowska

21 Nov 2008 - 31 Jan 2009

© Aneta Grzeszykowska
Headache, 2008, DVD HD, 11'37" ed. 7, # ed. 1/7


21 NOV 2008 – 31 JAN 2009

Opening: Thursday, 20 NOV 2008, 7 - 10 p.m.

Cornelia Offergeld, Vienna
7.30 p.m.

Aneta Grzeszykowska’s point of departure in her work is the medium of photography. She explores its documentary and identity-forming role in the age of Photoshop and Second Life. Grzeszykowska plays with this on many levels: she deletes herself from a series of old family photographs in ‘Album’ (2005), recasts Cindy Sherman’s classic series, slipping into the role of Cindy Sherman to reexamine the question of gender identity in ‘Untitled Film Stills’ (2006), or produces a portrait series with an unmistakably Ruffian quality but in which her models do not really exist.

Between make-believe and deleted identities her work clearly shows the hopelessness of trying to create a consistent identity and the futility of searching for one’s own coherent history. Photographic portraits of people are surfaces onto which the viewer can project his or her experiences and emotions. When the viewer realizes that the portrayed person is non-existent, this produces a destabilizing effect: the inability to trust one’s own eyes also means not being able to trust one’s own past – it might have been confabulated by a devious memory.

Through her analysis of the photographic medium, Aneta Grzeszykowska arrives at the primary theme of her work: her own identity, absence, invisibility, and the confrontation of body and thought with non-existence. There is also a performative aspect in ‘Black,’ 2007, 11'43", and ‘Headache,’ 2008, 11'37", the two films being shown in our exhibition. ‘Black’ is a virtual fantasy about the ultimate abyss. The artist’s body moves through an untouchable and indefinable black space, disappearing and resurfacing again.

Both films combine analogue trick film pictures and computer animation. Aneta Grzeszykowska mixes real, performative experience with virtual fantasy to create film illusion. She brings together physical experience, the (three-dimensional) body in its impenetrability, with its own, easy-to-manipulate, flat (two-dimensional) image.

Aneta Grzeszykowska, born in Warsaw in 1974, studied graphic art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, lives and works in Warsaw. Artistic collaboration with Jan Smaga since 1999. Exhibitions (selection): 2008 “Fotografia Europea – Reggio Emilia 2008,” Reggio Emilia; Camera Austria, Graz; “Reality Check,” Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; 2007 Statements, Art Basel; “At Last, Something New!,” National Museum, Krakow; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; 2006 Polish Institute, Berlin; “New works,” Raster, Warsaw; Fourth Berlin Biennial, Berlin; “Pre-Emptive,” Kunsthalle Bern; “Imhibition,” National Museum, Krakow; 2005 Habitat – 6th Baltic Contemporary Art Biennial, National Museum, Szczecin; “Mapping Space,” Miami Art Museum, Miami; “Views 2005 – Deutsche Bank Cultural Foundation Award,” Zacheta, Warsaw; “Erwartungen,” Kunsthalle Darmstadt; 2004 Palimpsest Museum, Biennial of Polish Art, Lodz; “Paravent,” Factory, Kunsthalle Krems; “Pieces of Identity,” Espace Apollonia, Strasbourg; 2003 “Das einverleibte Korsett,” St. Johann, Tyrol; 2002 “Blow up,” Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw; 1999 “India,” Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw

Aneta Grzeszykowska’s work ‘Untitled Film Stills’ is on display until November 29, 2008, in the exhibition ‘Double Face,’ at the Vertikale Galerie, Verbund-Zentrale in Vienna’s first district. Address: Am Hof 6a.

Tags: Aneta Grzeszykowska, Cindy Sherman, Jan Smaga