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Aneta Grzeszykowska

Aneta Grzeszykowska, photo: Marek Krzyżanek / Medium
Aneta Grzeszykowska, photo: Marek Krzyżanek / Medium

Born in 1974, Grzeszykowska is an artist of the Raster generation in Poland, associated with one of Poland's most creative institutions. In her art she uses photography, video and digital techniques to explore issues of intimacy, self-awareness and self-erasure.

Both Aneta Grzeszykowska and her husband Jan Smaga both graduated from the Graphic Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Grzeszykowska in 1999, Smaga in 2000). Today they are photographers working both together and independently, creating works that are characterised by an intimate approach to their subject. They often set themselves up as their subject, deepening the intimate aspect of personal photography. At the same time, they are very much engaged in experimentation with digital techniques to manipulate their images and create new contexts, exploring the ways in which reality can be transformed. In 2005 the pair was nominated for the Deutsche Bank Views award for young artists and in 2006 for the prestigious Polityka Award.

Aneta Grzeszykowska, Album
Aneta Grzeszykowska, Album

In her career as a solo artist, Grzeszykowska focuses on the combined media of film and photography to create metaphorical, symbolic narratives of childhood, womanhood and self-awareness. She often treats her subject as a marionette or a soulless character, which brings to the surface issues related to objectification and anonymity. In her 2005 project Untitled (Photographs), she used photoshop techniques to create photographs of non-existent people. Her 2006 Album project comprises over 200 photographs from Aneta Grzeszykowska's private family archive. Using Photoshop, the artist removed her own figure from each picture, thus creating a peculiar photographic autobiography - from the birth up till now - devoid of the protagonist.

Absence or partial absence continued to be a there in her work, with her 2007 fiction film Black, focusing on the image of her own naked body stuck in an abyss, with certain body parts hidden, while others appear in fragments, only to disappear again. The limbo quality of the image was made using analogue trick photography and animation techniques. In her next film Headache (2009), her naked body goes through a series of changes in a black void. It is in this blackness that the illusion comes to life and the body is given the status of an object, making the act of dismemberment believable. Cleanly chopped, each limb performs a separate task, taking on a life of its own with an almost animalistic mystique, the hand pulling the hair, the head spitting on the hand, the hand slapping the head, the four limbs ganging up on the head until it is exhausted, only to be pulled up to rejoin the rest of the body. It is a the dance pantomime tells us the story of the self-destructive impulses of the body, the story that reaches its conclusion with a deceptive happy end. The head is a passive victim of violence incapable of defense against limbs that are in revolt, an analysis of self-hatred and punishment which can also be understood as a metaphor for the ambiguous relationship between a sovereign and its subjects, for power and submission.

Aneta Grzeszykowska, Untitled #17 (fragment), 2005, c-print, dibond, plexi, 81x64 cm
Aneta Grzeszykowska, Untitled #17 (fragment), 2005, c-print, dibond, plexi, 81x64 cm

Her 2008 project Doll is a figurative representation of the artist across various stages in her life, dressed up just as she had been dressed in each particular period. These figures give an impression of being eerily distant. The doll figures question the relation of a human being's different incarnations throughout life. Reduced to black and white, minimalistic sequence of flat and three-dimensional images which represent artist's treats the body in an unsentimental, strictly experimental way - yet, nonetheless, the work has an emotional impact on the viewer.

In 2012 Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga invited gallery goers into the private space fo their home - their workshops and their private spaces showing the artists at work and play, experimenting, relaxing and making love. The project builds on their earlier Plan project (2004), which provided a detailed sociological inventory of a contemporary living space. Private Archive is a radical encroachment of that convention. It is a journal of emotion, which records the authors' fantasies, which are sometimes beautiful, other times shameful. They weave these fantasies into the flesh of their bodies, into their art, pulling down the curtains and opening up an otherwise private discussion on making art and making love.

For more information on the artist, see: www.raster.art.pl

Selected solo exhibitions:

  • 2012

- Fotografiska, Stockholm, SE
- Archiwum prywatne, Raster, Warsaw, PL (with Jan Smaga)

  • 2011

- Lovetime, Harris Lieberman, New York, USA
- Headache, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, US

  • 2010

- Fremder Körper (Corpus Alienum), Heidelberger Kunstverein, DE
- Birthday, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Wien, AT

  • 2008

- Headache, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Wien, AT
- Fotografia Europea. Reggio Emila 2008, Reggio Emilia, I

  • 2007

- Untitled Film Sills, Raster at Art Statements, Art Basel, CH

  • 2006

- New works, Raster, Warsaw, PL

  • 2005

- Robert Mann Gallery, New York, USA (with Jan Smaga)

  • 2004

- Plan, Fons Welters Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (with Jan Smaga)

Selected group exhibitions:

  • 2011

- Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, USA
- Nie na miejscu, Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, PL
- Choreografia ciał / Bodily Choreography, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL
- Rollenbilder - Rollenspiele, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, AT
- I Like The Art World And The Art World Likes Me, EFA Project Space, New York, US
- Nothing is Eternally Important, Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń, PL
- Windows Upon Oceans, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, GR

  • 2010

- The Last Film, Raster, Warsaw, PL
- Fast forward 2. The power of motion, Media Art Sammlung Goetz, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, DE
- Feel Home, CC Strombeek, Brussels, BE

  • 2009

- Beg Borrow and Steal, The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA
- FUSO. International Video Art Annual of Lisbon, PT
- Windows upon Oceans. Berlin Wall 20 years after. Plan, La Chambre, Strasbourg, FR (with Jan Smaga)
- She Devil on Tour, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, RO
- Double Face, Vertikale Galerie in der Verbund-Zentrale, Vienna, AT
- She Devil 3, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Roma, IT

  • 2008

- Transfotografia, Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot, PL
- Betonowe dziedzictwo, Instytut Polski w Rzymie, IT (with Jan Smaga)
- Dreamberries - zwischen Traum und Trauma, Videonacht im Westfälischen Kunstverein, D
- Act so that I can speak to you, Galerie Kamm, Berlin, D
- Update. Review of New Polish Photography, Miesiac Fotografii, Cracow, PL
- Reality Check, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, D
- Martian Museum of Terrestial Art, Barbican Gallery, London, UK
- Double Face, Vertikale Galerie in der Verbund-Zentrale, Vienna, A

  • 2007

- Centre d'Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, ESP
- Reality Effect, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL
- Anachronism, Argos Centre for Art & Media, Brussels, B
- Raster Haircut, Rental, New York, US

  • 2006

- 4th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, D
- Pre-Emptive, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, CH
- Willa Warszawa, Warsaw, PL
- Part of the process 2, Galeria Zero, Milan, IT
- Is it better to be a good artist or a good person?, Raster at Rental Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (with Jan Smaga)
- I-Image, The Central European House of Photography, Bratislava, SK (with Jan Smaga)

  • 2005

- Mapping Space, Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA (with Jan Smaga)
- Views 2005. Deutsche Bank Cultural Foundation Award, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL (with Jan Smaga)
- Mallorca Open, Centro Cultural Andratx, Andratx, ESP (with Jan Smaga)
- Falsche Erwartungen, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, D (with Jan Smaga)
- Pieces of Identity, Museum of Photograpy, Thessaloniki, G; National Museum, Szczecin, PL (with Jan Smaga)

  • 2004

- Paravent, factory - Kunsthalle Krems, A (with Jan Smaga)
- Pieces of Identity, Espace Apollonia, Strasbourg, F (with Jan Smaga)
- From Above, Georg Kargl Galerie, Vienna, A (with Jan Smaga)
- Pluzzle, galerie griedervonputtkamer, Berlin, D (with Jan Smaga)

  • 2002

- Blow up, Palace of Culture, Warsaw, PL (with Jan Smaga)
 

Culture.pl's picture
Culture.pl
2012/10/26
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Aneta Grzeszykowska

Works

Aneta Grzeszykowska, Album, 2004, photo courtesy Museum of Modern Art Warsaw

In Album, Grzeszykowska works around the mechanisms of memory and forgetting, reliability of memories and one's personal history. Read more about: Album - Aneta Grzeszykowska

Cover of The Decisive Moment. New Phenomena in Polish Photography after 2000, edited by Adam Mazur, published by Karakter in October 2012., publisher: Karakter

The collection of images and profiles of the most important photographers of the young Polish generation was compiled and expounded upon by curator and critic Adam Mazur. From art photography, reportage and fashion photography, it presents a diversified map of the most significant works and personalities of contemporary Polish photography Read more about: The Decisive Moment. New Phenomena in Polish Photography Since 2000

Aneta Grzeszykowska

Multimedia

Aneta Grzeszykowska

Articles

Aneta Grzeszykowska

Events

11may'12
20may'12

The image of the Polish woman at once glorifies the Polish woman as a Venus-like canon of beauty, while strapping her into the binds of exemplifying the virtuous traits of wife and mother. The 11th edition of the annual photography showcase in Łódź puts a focus on the representation of women in contemporary photography. Read more about: Subjects of Gender and Desire at the 2012 Fotofestival in Łódź

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