Artist, author of installations, photographs, objects and films. He was born in 1973 in Słubice. Lives and works in Zakopane.
Artist, author of installations, photographs, objects and films. Born in 1973 in Słubice.
In his career as an artist Czerepok has made use of found footage, covers and repetitions to create works that create a new context for an existing object or message. He is inspired by contemporary works of visual culture, such as his reconstruction of the three films of the Terminator franchise to create his own work entitled Terminator IV. At galleries he presented materials about strange events, contacts with aliens and catastrophic visions. He searched for such content in books, films and on the internet. In 2006 during the exhibition Fuckin’ Hell at the Centre for Contemporary Art he presented a documentation of a revelation, a record of an explosion and a movie about the end of the world.
Czerepok studied at the Poznań Academy of Fine Arts, where in 1999 he obtained his diploma from the workshops of professor Izabella Gustowska and professor Jan Berdyszak. In the years 1998-2001 together with Sławek Sobczak he ran the ON Gallery in Poznań. From 2000 until 2002 he collaborated with Zbigniew Rozalski, with whom he formed the art duo Magisters. In his early, student installations Czerepok conducted subtle interventions in the interiors of galleries. For instance in one of the venues he joined two windows located opposite each other with a cuboid made from plexiglass (ON Gallery, Poznań, 1997). Elsewhere he used projectors to create an illusion of space (Water Tower, Konin, 1998; Arsenal Gallery, Białystok, 1998).
In Czerepok’s diploma work (1999) recordings from the artist’s family’s flat made by a camera placed on top of a television set were projected on screens. The dwellers and their guests looked towards the camera and at the same time in the direction of the works’ viewers as they were watching television. A similar problem was addressed by the installation entitled Television Room (1999). Two photographs showed a lying man and woman, who seemed to be dozing off in front of a television set. Their eyes were however fixed on a projected image of a vase with flowers standing on a table covered with a napkin. From this moment on Czerepok persistently attempted to analyze in his works the situations and objects, which determine human behaviour.
At the Provincial Gallery in Słubice in 2000 the artist created the Recreational Facilities. He transformed the exhibition space into a solarium (tanning lamps and beach chairs), television room (Hollywood movies) and barbecue (grill and refrigerator). By doing so Czerepok seemed to point to the favorite Polish past time activities. Visiting galleries of contemporary art certainly isn’t one of them. In the same year at the exhibition in Orońsk the artist presented an empty, wooden container, as the organizers agreed to cover only the costs of transport (The Organizers Don’t Provide Financial Support, 2000). In Zielona Góra he ordered a votive mass for the success of the exhibition and his well-being. A recording of this religious ceremony was later presented at the gallery (Mass, 2000).
Czerepok is also interested in public places, which have specified social functions (offices, libraries, museums). The artist questions their alleged functionality. In his videos he proves that work in those locales is done seemingly, out of boredom. The employees of a computer studio look strangely distracted while they perform their tasks (Computer Studio 001, 2002). A museum turns into an area of private activity (Museum, 2002, together with Steven Rushton). Steve Rushton wrote:
A director sees his museum chiefly as a space, in which he may comfortably live in. He is only superficially interested in his job. The viewers also aren’t capable of focusing neither on the function nor on the purpose of such a place. They don’t understand the building’s essence. They don’t feel needed in a museum.
Czerepok has also analysed the art community. Together with Sebastian Mendez he created the board game Survivors of the White Cube (2003-2004), which resembled the famous Monopoly to a certain extent. The game revealed the mechanisms of the world of art. On the other hand the installation Everything is Fine (2003) transformed a gallery into an office filled with computers. He takes a similar approach towards libraries as he does to museums. Already in the video Protection from 2001 he substituted gym gear and weights used in bodybuilding exercises, with books. The film Library (2003) shows how interiors designed as places of intense intellectual work might just as well be treated as leisure areas. Czerepok filmed a man reading a book, who gradually loses interest in the publication and finally falls asleep over it.
Sometimes only a suggestion of an extraordinary event appears. A video from 2004 showed a group of people photographing something with great excitement. However the object of their interest remained concealed from the viewers as it was never captured by the film camera. In a double screening Czerepok used two copies of the movie Armageddon. The projected images were distorted by interferences caused by unauthorized duplication. Thus the movie, which tells the story of the ultimate catastrophe, is subject to annihilation itself (R.I.P., 2006). The artist also addresses similar issues in his drawings (Séances, since 2004).
In the exhibition Haunebu Czerepok employed the theme of the flying saucer program, which was allegedly developed by the Nazis during World War II. He was chiefly inspired by a peculiar, circular construction built by the Germans in the Owl Mountains. The twelve concrete pillars upholding a ring were a starting point for the artist’s speculations.
A large-format photograph of the structure forms part of the exhibition, which also includes a scale model of a Nazi flying saucer and what are alleged to be photographs, some clearly doctored, and design sketches of the UFOs. Czerepok, who says he has always been fascinated by urban myths and conspiracy theories, was inspired by works by the sensationalist Polish historian Igor Witkowski. He also found a wealth of material on the many Web sites devoted to Nazi secret technology. (…) However, the artist insists his aim is not to poke fun at people who believe in the theories. "The project deals with history, which is not like science," he says. "Instead, it consists of several small narratives." He feels artists often occupy the gray area between fact and fiction. "As an artist, you are in a position to reconstruct things which did not exist, things which are not certain." – wrote the German weekly Der Spiegel.
Selected individual exhibitions:
2012 – Lux Aeterna – Żak | Branicka Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2011 – Conspiratorium, Art Stations Foundation, Stary Browar Gallery, Poznań
2010 – Flowers of Evil (with Marek Wasilewski), BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra
2009 – Devil’s Island - Centre d'art Contemporain La Criee, Rennes, France
2008 – Haunebu – Żak | Branicka Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2007 - Lombardi Is Dead - Bytom; "Strange Tourists" - Potocka Gallery, Kraków
2006 – Museum Covers – Kraków (in the framework of the cycle "Guide”); Fuckin’ Hell – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (in the framework of the cycle “In the Very Center of Attention”); Séances – Koraalberg, Antwerp, Germany; Did We Land on the Moon? - Arsenal Gallery, Białystok
2005 - Children of Sodom - KunstZicht Gallery, Gent, Belgium (with S. Rushton)
2004 - Do You Know Anything about Polish Art? - e-flux video rental, New York, USA
2003 - Day of Games - Marres, Maastricht, the Netherlands; Everything Is Fine - Poznań
2001 – This Is Not My Hand – Lublin; 21:24 Gallery, 21:25 Gallery, Oslo, Norway
2000 - Polonia Słubice - BWA, Zielona Góra
1999 – Hubert Czerepok – installation, photographs – ON Gallery, Poznań
1998 – Water Tower, Konin; Municipal Gallery, Wrocław (with Paweł Kaszczyński); Renovation – Provincial Gallery, Słubice
1997 – Hubert Czerepok – installation – ON Gallery, Poznań.
Selected group exhibitions:
2012 – “Cultural Transference” - Efa Project Space, New York, USA
2011 – “ThymÓs. The Art Of Anger 1900 – 2011” – CoCA, Centre of Contemporary Art Toruń, Toruń; “POLISH!” - Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
2010 – “Follow the White Rabbit!” - Art Bunker, Cracow; “A Part of No-Part: Parallelisms Between Then and Now” - Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA
2009 – “Energy Class B” – Ormoubath Gallery, Belfast, Ireland; “Good Night and Bad Luck”, Artists’ House, Tel Aviv, Israel
2008 – “Something Must Break” – Mysłowice; “Art Conspiracy” Sector Gallery, Katowice
2007 – "Freedom, Equality… Art!” – Grey Gallery, Lublin; “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” – ON Gallery, Poznań; “Last News” – Bath Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk; “Wit and the Power of Judgement (Asteism in Poland)” – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Program Gallery, Warsaw; “Tomorrow” – Castle Culture Centre, Poznań; “Manual CC” – Chronicle Gallery, Bytom; “Black Hole” – Chronicle Gallery, Bytom
2006 – Manipulation. On Economies of Deceit – Bath Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2007); “Intimate Architecture, Abandoned Architecture” – Chronicle Gallery, Bytom; “Let’s Talk about Contemporary Art Baby” – Platan Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; “Prospective Sites” – Vienna, Austria; “Take Off” – Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium; “Police” – Cracow
2005 - "Esprit de corps" - Motive Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; "Manipulation. On Economies of Deceit" - International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic; "Compulsive_Handmades" - Exit Gallery, Skpoje, Macedonia; "Time of Culture" – Arsenal Municipal Gallery, Poznań; Program Gallery, Warsaw (2006); "Four Roses" – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; "Videozoom. Videoartisti polacchi" - Sala 1 Gallery, Rome; "Love and Democracy" – Art Fair, Poznań; "How to Talk about Contemporary Art" – Arsenal Gallery, Białystok
2004 – "Behind the Red Horizon” – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; “Re:Location 6”, Gdańsk, “Under the Red and White Flag” – The Art Museum of Estonia, Tallin, Estonia; “Quicksand” – De Appel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; St’art – Strasbourg, France; Art Poznań 2004 – Art Fair, Poznań
2003 - "Hurts So Good" – Centre for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania; "Them" – ON Gallery, Poznań
2002 – “Well, in Ordnung” – Kunstbüro Gallery, Vienna; Oder Sprung – Kunsthaus, Essen, Germany
2001 – "Fish-Eye I” – Baltic Contemporary Art Gallery, Słupsk; Relax – Arsenal Gallery, Białystok
2000 - "Polonia Słubice” – BWA, Zielona góra; SCENE 2000 – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; "Recreational Facilities” – Provincial Gallery; Słubice
1999 – "Mediations” – Poznań; "OIKOS” – Leon Wyczółkowski Regional Museum, Bydgoszcz
1998 – "Olgierd Nowak in Białystok – a Few Private Impulses” – Arsenal Gallery, Białystok
Author: Karol Sienkiewicz, October 2007. Translated by Marek Kępa, June 2012.