/+ - ∞
/Esprit de corps
/Living Rooms
/a fleeting peripheral phenomenon
/Places of Sacrifice

/Maria Szymańska-Korejwo, Ciało doskonale czarne.
/Aurelia Nowak, Sanatorium.
/Laundry Lung interview by Joanne Ambia.

/Agata Dąbrowska, Ciało - obiekt - relikwia.
/Aleksandra Gieczys-Jurszo, W pułapce subiektywizmu.
/Joanna Tokarczyk, Artysta jako genius loci.



Aleksandra Gieczys-Jurszo, In the Trap of Subjectivity

At the first glimpse of an eye her art stands out. The artist does not avoid topics connected with the meaning of life, which are nowadays a real rarity among young artists. Provocatively, she admits she has religious fascinations even though she declares to be an atheist. Meet Natalia Szostak.

Your artistic activity works really well in spheres where a need to show own experience arises, either emotional, sensual, spiritual or intellectual. In your works, you redefine your way of existing in the world, you invite the audience to take part in this private act. Aren't you afraid of being misunderstood or even accused of being narcissistic?
What I do usually generates a series of reactions. This is how I communicate with others. An indispensable distance is needed when a particular piece seems to be unclear, indifferent or shocking for some, and clear and important for others. Owing to this, I feel that it is a living process, that a certain sphere of utterance exists which it still being shaped.

Many artists exists as a topic for their art. I have always been interested in how much, on the level of art, the record of our own life is distorted by a certain dose of intentional manipulation, creation? It is a temptation to re-create oneself exists, a temptation to steer consciously one's moods and reactions which will be represented in the exposition. Is there a way around it?
No, there isn't. This is a trap of subjectivism. Reality is a problem. We are not able to show a single image which we could call the one and only. This is what creation is all about. Being aware of this, I try to get to myself the closest I can to realities that I exist in; to myself perceived by me.

Looking at oneself from a broader perspective owing to one's own work is a good starting point to understand reality and one's role in it. Such an insight must become a trampoline to painful search for the meaning of life...
Yes, it is a form of documenting what is difficult to describe. Through my work I try to go in this direction. Sharing this with others is essential to this process. It is only then when confrontation occurs which is so needed in future work. As a result it becomes a certain record of my experience which ultimately satisfies me.

You intertwine various realia in spaces where you place your work which are to represent your viewpoint (for example a white dress). Could you explain their meaning?
A dress plays a role of a relic, a remnant of an event of special importance. I use is as a symbol which refers to concrete experiences which I cannot relate in words. It's more of a question mark than an answer. It's an "evoker" of certain associations which in my works get activated in various ways. There are more similar realia. I try to ease emotions, which they evoke in me, via my work. I am not for making my emotions more specific; it's rather making the visual lexicon bigger.

In the series "Miejsca Poświęceń" / "Places of
Sacrifice", you explored issues connected with the construction of human identity. To get to the bottom of what makes a human as an autonomous, unique and independent being, you had to go on an ethnographic journey inside yourself.
"Miejsca Poświęceń" / "Places of
Sacrifice" consists of images constructed to resemble an altar (a table used to make sacrifices where offerings are to win God's favour). I use this symbolism in the context of my own history, which is disordered and chaotic. It distorts integrity of my own identity. The lack of clearly sets a goal and sense of past events are contrasted with ordered form, which gives them a new meaning. I systematize the past so that it becomes clear but still I do not take its ambiguity away.

Your personal experience is connected with living in many countries which became a starting point for totally new perception. The perspective, presented by you, creates a both private and public universal space for reflection. You show how the process of creating one's subjectivity is conditioned by culture, tradition and socializing processes.
That's true. Frequent changes of location, making the notion of "home" more relative, progressive feeling of extirpation shape my view of the world. The value system of one environment which is not adapted to a new one gets devalued. We are forced to their mock-ups in a new place. We look for substitutes. Often being unaware, we give away essential elements building up our past
identity, we lose the feeling of self and move like children in the fog. Contradictions created in the clash with changing reality make it impossible to have a smooth transition. As a result, some things from the outside become more vivid.

What are you working on at the moment?
Slowly I am trying to abandon the "Places of Sacrifice" series. I am focusing on self-portrait. I am in the middle of creating a new series of anatomic self-portraits. Drawings and oils will be made on the basis of these. Next year I want to use them in a new project located somewhere in the city space.

SIC! #13.11/2011