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, 11:43min, and ‘Headache,’ 2008, 11:37min, 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.
The soundtrack of 'Headache' is based on the following compositions by Krzysztof Penderecky: Anaklasis (1959), Fonogrammi (1973), Polymorphia (1961), String Quartet No. 1 (1960), Symphony I: Dynamis I - Arche I (1973). The dancers are Aleksandra Lemm, Weronika Pelczynska, Marzena Roguska, Anita Wach. In cooperation with Jan Smaga.
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