Anna Maria Karczmarska is a visual and performance artist, scenographer, and costume designer. She was born in 1981 in Rejowiec Fabryczny, Poland.
Visual and performance artist, scenographer and costume designer. Born in 1981 in Rejowiec Fabryczny, Poland.
In 2000-2005, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków – at the Painting Faculty (in the studio of Prof. Andrzej Bednarczyk and the 2nd Interdisciplinary Studio of Zbigniew Sałaj, PhD and Grzegorz Sztwiernia, PhD) and in the Animation workshop of Prof. Jerzy Kucia as well as specialising in scenography. She went on a research scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (2002-2003) and a graduate DAAD internship at Kunstakademie Muenster in Berlin (2007-2008).
In 2011, she commenced PhD studies at the Faculty of Sculpture at her alma mater (at the Intermedia Department, under Grzegorz Sztwiernia, PhD).
In 2006, she received an honourable mention for her piece 13 Holy Girls in the Samsung Art Master competition, followed by an exhibition at CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. In 2010, she was awarded for Best Scenography at the International Divine Comedy Theatre Festival in Kraków, for her work for Odyssey, directed by Krzysztof Garbaczewski, who was also the co-author of the set design.
In her artistic practice, Anna Karczmarska refers consistently and directly to issues related to gender identity and assumed social roles, as well as to the social rituals which determine the rhythm of life. Ever since graduating in 2005, she has been involved in a continual struggle with her own image, thus engaging in a debate on the performativity of gender and on the cultural gender roles.
– wrote Zuzanna Hadryś, the curator of Karczmarska's exhibition at the Arsenał Gallery in Poznań.
As the artist says, she ‘traces the performativity of "appearance" from the social, historical, and cultural perspectives.’ Her various costumes – in which she impersonates diverse characters, including the Virgin Mary (in the video-performance Revelation, 2007), Catholic saints (the installation 13 Holy Girls from 2005), fairy tale protagonists (Red Riding Hood in the photo and video project crops-preserves, 2006), an alien (the photographic series An Unknown Land – 12 Falls, 2007), and a lab technician (the Jubilee performance at the Witryna Gallery, 2008) – are acts performed in front of an audience which enables Karczmarska to create her artistic identity.
The artist also produces short 16mm films in which she tells the alternative histories of different places, such as in Someone Has Eaten From My Bowl (2010), Moszna (2013), and Das Staedtchen (2013, in collaboration with Wojtek Doroszuk). In her video The Duel (2008), Karczmarska challenges an abandoned tenement house at the corner of Targowa and Wileńska Streets in Warsaw. The building, located in a row of other ‘living’ edifices, provokes with its strangeness and dysfunction within the city fabric. As the artist described the building:
It is somehow handicapped, excluded, and proud at the same time, imposing, unmoved. One may think that it belongs to a different world, a world ruled by other laws than the ones we know and that we are a part of, and what we see is just a facade that exists there by accident, left there by mistake. This facade seemed to me to be a teleporter. A gate through which one may go to ‘the other,’ to enter ‘the other’.
Karczmarska staged a situation in which three actors – a woman and two men, representing a world different from the existing one – perform a ‘rite of passage.’ The female character's sex attributes are obliterated, she is deafened and blindfolded as she faces the house, which is similarly ‘castrated,’ with its wounds exposed.
Karczmarska is also the author of numerous performance works. In 2007, she created the cycle Revelation at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw – for five consecutive weeks, on every Sunday at the same time, she displayed a figure resembling the Virgin Mary in one of the building's windows. In 2010, she also started creating so-called directed performances with actors, such as Scale with Paweł Smagała at the National Opera in Warsaw, The Concert After Crops with Krzysztof Kaliski at the Czartoryski Museum in Kraków (2011), and A Woman's Monologue with Ola Cwen, created while working on Garbaczewski's Odyssey. The latter performance later began functioning as a separate work, shown, among others, at Goldex Poldex in Kraków and at the exhibition The Length of the Reins Determines the Diameter of the Arena at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Opole.
Since 2005, Karczmarska has been working in theatre. She has collaborated with leading Polish directors, designing sets and costumes for stagings which have included Barbara Wysocka's Szapocznikow – No Gravity (2014) at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Krzysztof Garbaczewski's Sports Choir (2008) at the Kochanowski Theatre in Opole, Possessed (2008) at the Dramatyczny Theatre in Wałbrzych, Nirvana (2009) at the Polski Theatre in Wrocław, and Odyssey (2009) at the Kochanowski Theatre in Opole; Jan Peszek's Hamlet (2010) at the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts, The Marriage of Figaro (dir. Cezary Tomaszewski, 2010) at the National Museum in Kraków; as well as Michał Borczuch's COMPOnents (2004) and Lulu (2007) at the Stary Theatre in Kraków, Leonce and Lena (2007) at the Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw, The Evening of Orphans (2008) at the Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures in Łódź, The Picture of Dorian Gray (2009) and The Metaphysics of a Two-headed Calf (2010) at TR Warsaw, Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2010) at the Kochanowski Theatre in Opole, and War's Unwomanly Face (2012) at Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf.
More recently, she collaborated mainly with Radosław Rychcik, working on such performances as Twelve Angry Men (2012) at the Nowy Theatre in Poznań, Uprising (2012) at the Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw, Dangerous Liaisons (2012) at the Żeromski Theatre in Kielce, The Devil (2013) at the Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin, Forefathers' Eve (2014) at the Nowy Theatre in Poznań, for which Rychcik received the Polityka's Passport award, Balladyna (2014) at the Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre in Rzeszów, Grażyna (2015) at the Ludwik Solski Theatre in Tarnów, and The Talented Mr. Ripley (2015) at the Studio Theatre in Warsaw, and The Wedding (2016) at the Śląski Theatre in Katowice. Karczmarska also created set and costume design for performances directed by Bartosz Frąckowiak, including: In Desert and Wilderness: After Sienkiewicz and Others (2011) at the Dramatyczny Theatre in Wałbrzych, Komornicka: the Ostensible Biography (2012), Africa (2014), and Borders (2016) at the Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz.
- Sacer, Otwarta Pracownia, Kraków, Poland
- Stamps, Pauza Gallery, Kraków, Poland
- crops-preserves / ernten-einmachen, Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany
- An Unknown Land, Arsenał, Poznań, Poland
- crops-preserves, lokal_30, Warsaw, Poland
- Jubilee, Witryna Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
- The Duel, Biała Gallery, Lublin, Poland
- Someone Has Eaten From my Bowl, Biała Gallery, Lublin, Poland
- Someone Has Eaten From my Bowl, as part of the BorderLine project, Mica Moca, Berlin, Germany
- Moszna, video premiere as part of the project The Montage of Attractions, National Museum in Kraków, Poland
- Kingdom, installation prepared in collaboration with Mikołaj Małek, B zone, Stary Theatre in Kraków, Poland
- Revelation, Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, Poland
- Courtyard, lokal_30, Warsaw, Poland
- Jubilee, Witryna Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
- A Woman's Monologue with Aleksandra Cwen, Odyssey directed by K. Garbaczewski, Dramatyczny Theatre, Opole, Poland
- Scale with Paweł Smagała, National Opera, Warsaw, Poland
- The Concert After Crops, Czartoryski Museum, Kraków, Poland
- Mickey Mouse's White Gloves, as part of the Romantic Manifestations exhibition, BWA Sokół, Nowy Sącz, Poland
- Insert coin, Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, Italy
- Home Atmosphere, Dom Olimpii, Kraków, Poland
- Ładnie? O ładnym…, Młyn nr2 Ziarno, Kraków, Poland
- Grey Zone, Platan Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
- Urban Landscape, Art Palace, Lwów, Ukraine
- The Painting of 2004, Królikarnia, Warsaw, Poland
- No Problem, Otwarta Pracownia, Kraków, Poland
- Degree Show, The Palace of Fine Arts, Kraków, Poland
- Bielska Jesień, BWA, Bielsko-Biała, Poland
- (Re)Presentation, Le Lieu, Quebec, Canada
- Education Department as a part of the exhibition In the Very Centre of Attention, pt.2, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
- Ausflippen, Brick 5, Vienna, Austria
- Kunstakademie Krakau, Kleinsassen, Germany
- Worst Photos We Have Ever Taken, F.A.I.T., Kraków
- Samsung Art Master, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
- Don't Be Afraid, private apartments, Warsaw, Poland
- ASP.KRK. – RAS.LDN. – Young British, Young Polish, Lubomirski Castle, Wiśnicz, Poland
- Ple Ple the Witch, Galeria Dla…, Toruń, Poland
- Bad News, Kronika Gallery, Bytom, Poland
- Ple Ple the Witch, Klima Bocheńska Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
- Intimate Architecture – Abandoned Architecture, Kronika Gallery, Bytom, Poland
- Women's Day, Nowy Theatre, Kraków, Poland
- Woman about Woman, BWA, Bielsko-Biała, Poland
- Geant, Till Uylenspiegel, Tordeghem, France
- Lady Fest, Toruń, Poland
- Sex Shop, BWA Studio, Wrocław, Poland
- Es ist so bunt und shoen hier, Kunst Magazine, Bochum, Germany
- Under the Skin, New Museum, New York, USA
- Naughty, Pecs, Hungary
- Body in the Library, BWA Design, Wrocław, Poland
- White on White, BWA, Bielsko-Biała, Poland
- Naughty, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, Poland
- Storytelling. Rebuilding, Czartoryski Museum, Kraków, Poland
- Beautiful Transient, Museum of Modern Art, Passau, Germany
- Schoen vergaenglich, Museum of Modern Art, Passau, Germany
- Romantic Manifestations, BWA Sokół, Nowy Sącz, Poland
- The Length of the Reins Determines the Diameter of the Arena, Contemporary Art Gallery, Opole, Poland
Ed. AS, 25.02.2016, transl. AM