Culture.pl puts the spotlight on the rising stars of Polish arts - from literature and music to film, theatre, visual arts and more...
Culture.pl puts the spotlight on the rising stars of Polish arts - from literature and music to film, theatre, visual arts and more...
Photo courtesy of Katarzyna Mirczak
Katarzyna Mirczak began awing audiences with her singular snippets of life, presenting an alternative view on social issues such as exclusion, crime, punishment and evidence. Her photo essays focus on interpretating social trends and creating a social dialogue about relevant ideas and issues. Her Criminal Code project examines the symbolic code that tattoos represent in the criminal community, providing information about the individual's personal history, origins, social affiliations, interests and sense of humour. Many of the tattoos were done by the prisoners, using crude tools.
Source: Hubert Zemler/Myspace
Polish percussionist Hubert Zemler takes his inspiration from jazz, improvisation and other contemporary music forms. He fuses these models to create a sound comparable to avant-garde American jazz of the 1960s. He also uses his indie platform to promote older jazz forms for today's audiences. In November 2012, Zemler playedin London during the Jazz and Experimental Music from Poland Festival.
Photo courtesy of the artist
As a photographer, Rafał Milach strives to capture realities of everyday life in Russia and other former Soviet republics as authentically as possible. His first-person narration style is straightforward, without significant interference into the subject or setting. His best-known project is the 7 Rooms series, which paints a collective portrait of thirty-somethings in Putin's Russia. He spent several years on the project, establishing contact with several young people across Russia then slowly getting closer to them, entering their lives and their homes and ultimately capturing that experience with his camera.
Martynka Wawrzyniak's performances have been called "unsettling" as she unabashedly flaunts her naked body and tiptoes across the line between pretty and perverse, flattering and filthy. Her goal is to "take the nude self-portrait to the next level of intimacy", delving into other media to further narrow the boundary between artist and spectator. Her most recent project, shown at the Envoy Enterprises Gallery in New York in the fall of 2012, takes its cue from Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", with the artist gathering a chemistry research team to collect and concentrate the essence of her hair, sweat and tears.
Photo courtesy of Piotr Krzymowski
Fresh out of Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, Piotr Krzymowski uses video art to delve into hidden treasures of cinema, opening the genre to increasingly participatory experience. He caught the attention of selectors at Bloomberg New Contemporaries this year with his video works 73 and Boys, set in the Canary Islands with holiday season in full swing. The works capture the islands' beauty and the monotony of leisure, with frame repetition referencing repetitious activities of people on holiday. His goal, as he puts it, is to explore cinema's best-kept secret: the still image.
Łukasz Surowiec, from "Nice to Meet You"
The interdisciplinary artist, sculptor, performer and video artist Łukasz Surowiec creates installations in the public space that combine the poetics of metaphor and symbolism with a political message. He incorporates facets of nature, medicine, anatomy in his works, along with a fascination with the act of voyeurism and surveillance. He strives to bring attention to marginalised issues and members of society, even historical issues that have been buried deep in the past.
Paristetris, promotional photo
Argentinian-born Candelaria Saenz Valiente heads up Warsaw's most intriguing avant pop-rock band Paristetris blending modern underground with guitar noise and classical music tradition, balanced with new-fangled styles of contemporary sound courtesy of indie greats Marcin Masecki and Macio Moretti. The ethereal vocals and dynamic visual arrangements make them one of the most exciting live acts in music today.
Kaya Kołodziejczyk, © Yosuke Demukai
Kaya Kołodziejczyk has taken her dance beyond Poland to Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. She was singled out by the critics in the German magazine Ballettanz in 2009 as the most intriguing dancer of the new generation. She avoids categorising her art form, which breaks the bounds of genre. "I'm interested in the interdisciplinary space", she says. "I'm independent, but I like to work within collectives. What I do I refer to as original performance, dance, theatre of movement". For her, dance begins with an essential spark - a fascination with movement.
Photo courtesy of Maldoror
How does a young man from a small town in southern Poland rise up to the ranks of the most enigmatic and sought-after designers on the fashion scene? In spite of his reluctance to bask in this moment of glory, the spotlight has been focused on Maldoror ever since his impressive debut at Łódź Fashion Week in the spring of 2012. Doing away with the traditional runway format, the designer set his models up against the wall and invited the public to come up and take a look at the clothes from up close, to touch the fabric and inspect the make.
Eryk Lubos, fot. Wojtek Wieteska
"It all started by chance" – Eryk Lubos says when talking about the beginnings of his acting career. At the age of eighteen he went to the Wrocław Contemporary Theatre with a girlfriend. "I wanted to impress her and it turned out that I hung myself out to dry". He avoids celebrity parties and media glamour. "I love a good party in good company, but banquets with pull-up adverts, camera flashes and the whole pomp? What the fuck?" He cares about the things preceding the opening night - hard work, getting into the roles, creating new worlds.
Courtesy of Marzena Sowa
The action of Marzena Sowa's comic novel Marzi takes place in Poland in the eighties. A red-haired girl living in a concrete apartment block is the heroin. Each part of the comic book is made up of short stories showing different aspects of everyday life in communist Poland. Some of the tales may seem improbable to foreign readers as for instance the story about a group of neighbours who jointly buy a freezer and use it as storage space for meat bought in the countryside. Similarly the episode involving a great feast organized during a power failure may seem unlikely. However – as emphasized by Marzena Sowa – Marzi is a fully autobiographic story.
From the making of Onania
Jan Manski's artistic lexicon is one of cruelty spoken by nature. It is not an intellectual journey but rather the eternal return of a madman’s dream that we are invited into with such works as Possesia. There are totem-like sculptures made of bone, and there are various tools and attributes of physical labour, which become treated like fetishised treasures, locked away within glass cabinets. In an interview for FAD magazine, the artist remarked, "The grotesque is a very important factor. If we were to choose one word to describe Onania, it’s very grotesque. Of course, there’s humour, it’s a joke but it’s very serious, it’s more like a black comedy. More like a black comedy in pink."
Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Tobiasz Biliński calls his sound "rather melancholy, chaotic, intimate, full of contrasts and often unpredictable, with a dash of improvisation". Born in 1990 in the north of Poland, the young musician's accomplishments have already earned him two nominations for music awards in his native Poland. Today he is based in Warsaw, yet he travels the world with his two projects, performing at some of the world's biggest music festivals.
Photo: J. Kinowska / Zachęta
Video artist Anna Molska's works are concentrated in video works and performance as a way of reflecting on the nostalgia of socialist modernism and its remaining impressions in today's world. She says, "The formal aspect isn’t so important to me. When you create a connection between two positions, you have a line. One more point makes a triangle, but that doesn’t mean that one subscribes to a Constructivist world of ideas. For me, people come first, and then comes everything else."
From The Friendship of Nations
The international art collective Slavs and Tatars refers to its members as "archaeologists of the everyday" as they draw upon deeper layers of meaning exemplified by tradition, custom, performance, language, anthropology and politics, their works are emotional, humorous and still very determined in their message. In the autumn of 2012 the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted a major solo show by the collective titled Beyonsense, which takes its name from a translation of zaum - Russian Futurist experiments with "transrational" language and poetry - along with a play on the name of one of pop culture's most recognisable names - Beyoncé.
From The Study of Natural History
Kuba Bąkowski's works take relics of contemporary culture are transposed to the status of myth, drawing from the realm of sports, religion, nature, communications and outer space. A common aim for the artist is the exploration of one of the main elements of human's spirituality and global culture: the need to cross mental, space and time restrictions, determining the extend and possibilities of perception and experience.
Photo: A. Taraska-Pietrzak / Museum of Art in Łodź
Katarzyna Krakowiak has founded pirate radio stations in Israel and registered conversations from the moon. In autumn the artist transforms the Polish Pavilion at the Biennale of Architecture in Venice into a full-scale installation devoted to the architecture of sound.
Photo: Andras Schram
Called the "reluctant prodigy" of classical music, Jan Lisiecki is a young man whose bearing and composure suggest a maturity well beyond his years, yet the discernible twinkle in the eye and coltish toss of the head betray the youthful joy he brings to classical performance.
Why is it that very few women seek their own path in music as persistently as Ola Rzepka? "There is more women than men at music academies, but only a handful of the ladies later become artists. At a certain age, one has to start a family and there is no more time for music. My situation is perfect, because my partner supports me and I can play music".
Photo: Alexandre Dupeyron
In 2010 Alicja Dobrucka received a text message from her father informing her that her younger brother had died. She immediately left her flat in London behind and returned to her hometown in Poland. There she began taking photographs, using her camera both as a "shield from the brutality of the experience" and a way to document the last traces of her brother in her life.
Photo: Michał Jadczak
While working with the Gardzienice ensemble, Paweł Passini "learned the assets and threats of working in isolation. The situation of an enclosed group of people, who concentrate on the rehearsal process makes everybody’s devotion to the theatre work almost a given. The instrument is taken out of the actor’s hands and starts functioning somewhere between him and the director, and they both play this instrument".
Long before Projekt Warszawiak was officially born, the prospective members of the group became fascinated with the music of Stanisław Grzesiuk. From the post-war period until his death in the sixties, Grzesiuk performed and recorded songs that were characteristic for how they portrayed Warsaw's metropolitan vibe of the time, with all its gritty glamour.
Photo: Jacek Waszkiewicz / Reporter / East News
Krzysztof Garbaczewski doesn’t address political issues. He uses the medium of theatre to touch upon existential issues and search for the limits of human experience. While Nirvana dealt with death and various forms of dying, The Odyssey and Demons attempted to portray the condition of humans in a postmodern world.
Paula & Karol's rise to become musicians recognised by the world music press and blogs started out as a modest folk duo whose sound was swiftly recognised by Poland's iconic Lado ABC label. They made their first LP Goodnight Warsaw in early 2010 and later that year they released their first studio album Overshare with Lado ABC, which was hailed by fans and the media as a great discovery on the Polish music scene.
Self-portait by Agata "Endo" Nowicka
Agata "Endo" Nowicka's illustration style is colourful and whimsical, yet she manages to blend a feminine aesthetic with a strong voice that is a contemporary commentary on the state of the world around her. Her subjects include sexuality, feminism, vanity, social relations, music and everyday life - presented in a way that references a strong illustration tradition with a smart and very contemporary approach.
Courtesy of Kasia Klimkiewicz
As part of a generation of Polish filmmakers who are conscious of the trauma caused by communism but see it as one of many political aberrations, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz is interested in how a political system influences the desires, feelings and possibilities of a human being. She asks "If I were born in Somalia instead of communist Poland, would I have been different, what decisions would I have made?"
Self-portait by Bartek "Arobal" Kociemba
Bartek "Arobal" Kociemba never thought he'd grow up to be an artist. As he tells it, he had no real talent for drawing and his interests lay rather in politics and social sciences. As a boy he grew up in the town of Barlinek, a quaint town set in the middle of a wood that he describes as "magical" and "spooky". The woods were filled with the sorts of animals and plants - moose, rabbits, deer, poison hemlock and sumac - that years later began to creep back into his world through his illustrations.
Courtesy of Très. B
The indie music scene in Poland is young, but determined. The mélange of styles makes for a highly variegated playlist. Starting with alternative rock bands that play the sort of post garage-rock that folks all over the world really want to listen to right now, such as Très. B, Pustki, Bubble Pie, Broken Betty, The Black Tapes, The Lollipops, Kim Nowak and Shiny Beats.