The video artist takes a trip to the end of the world on the trail of Polish scientific expeditions of the 1950s. With the expert assistance of her grandfather, Janusz Molski, a professor of physics, Molska documents her encounter with an unfamiliar landscape.
Molska's expedition was inspired by stories of travelers, explorers and scientists through history, in particular the 1950s, when most of the world had been combed over - and yet Antarctica remained a mystery due to its extreme climate and conditions. She acts as an observer to Polish explorers at a research station at the South Pole. Living in very close quarters creates a tight-knit community, and Molska asks about their motivations in taking up such an unusual task. According to the curator Joanna Kordjak, Molska is asking "whether the major factor in pushing such different people into the frozen embrace of the sixth continent is instinct, the necessary of discovery, a mistaken decision or simply chance".
The video that is the exhibition's focal point is accompanied by sculptures and installations forming a single composition fully incorporated into the gallery space at the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw. Material gathered during months of research – accounts of expedition participants, photographs, slides, drawings and fragments of documentary films – inspired Molska to create her own vision of encountering the unknown Antarctic realm. The artist meanders on the margins of stories from travel and popular science literature. The effect of her investigations is an unexpected play within the gallery space among sculptures, installations and the three-channel video installation.
The works of Anna Molska (born 1983) are concentrated in video works and performance that reflect on nostalgia for socialist modernism, and its remaining impressions in today's world. She draws inspiration from the avant-garde and its social relevance within a post-modernist context. Her works have been shown internationally, including at the Tate Modern and the Calvert 22 Foundation in London, the Malmo Konsthall in Sweden, the Power Plant in Toronto and the New Museum in New York. In 2011 she is among the 21 international artists shortlisted for the Future Generation Prize awarded by the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev.
The Sixth Continent is on view at the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw between the 24th of November - 3rd of February.
For more information, see: www.zacheta.art.pl
Editor: Agnieszka Le Nart
Source: Press information