Konrad Kuzyszyn was born in 1961 in Białystok. He is a photographer and creator of video installations and photographic objects.
Photographer, creator of video installations and photographic objects.
From 1985 to 1990 he studied at the Graphics Department of the PWSSP (now the Academy of Fine Arts) in Łódź. In 1994 he became an assistant in the photography studio of Professor Ireneusz Pierzgalski. Now he is a professor at the Artistic University in Poznań, where he is the chair of the V Photography Atelier.
His first exhibition was organised in the FF Gallery in Łódź. Retrospectives – Introspectives (1991) got interest from the media thanks to its shocking erotic subject. The expressionistic quality of the whole show was complemented by a reference to classical photography (Man Ray) and a monumental frieze consisting of photographs of the video screen with different scenes from satellite TV, which created the iconosphere of the display. Shocking, unconventional eroticism was present in some of the works. He took part in the generational exhibition Zmiana Warty / A Change of the Guard (1991). During the first period of his work (until around 1995) he chose subjects known from the work of Zbigniew Libera and artists from the Kowalnia circle (Grzegorz Kowalski) and Wyspa gallery (Grzegorz Klamana) and, often collaborated on exhibitions in Poland and abroad.
Kuzyszyn's photos were far from average even during his studies. The series created in the late 1980s at the Collegium Anatomicum of the Medical Academy in Łódź, and shown, among others, at the Exi(s)t (ilustrations) exhibition in CSW in Warsaw was controversial. Its drastic subject served to express personal, existential thoughts. Using the technique of negative photomontages, he manipulated the photos, connecting his own image with frightening portraits of the dead, destined to be "used" for student practice in the dissection room. Through existential fear, which served as a 'stimulator' in his art – Kuzyszyn said – he wanted to get to know himself. His other works were less drastic, but still expressionistic. The artist used a long exposure time in connection with a few sources of light or with the movement of a zoom lens, thus achieving an interesting effect both in portrait and landscape photography. Sometimes he painted photographs to further their artistic impact. Some of his photos from the beginning of the 1990s is reminiscent of modern German art (e.g. Gerd Bonferd).
It shouldn't be forgotten that Kuzyszyn is most of all an artist who uses photography as his medium. The large Marcowe Gody / March Mating exhibition which took place in Łódź in 1995 was proof of that. His project, which consisted of multiplied photographs, was one of the most interesting works presented there. Since then, the artist has often shown spatial arrangements (installations) using photography and bright neon lamps. He also created objects out of paraffin, in which he immersed shocking pictures of his multiplied body turned into indeterminate images (insects? worms?). When one looks at Kuzyszyn's creative growth, one can notice that he is interested in scandalous media problems (at a certain point he was inspired by David Lynch's films). The only oasis of creative freedom was for him art based on the penetration of his own existence and of darkest nooks and crannies of the soul.
In the mid-nineties Kuzyszyn's interests changed completely. He resigned from chaotic philosophical pursuits and turned to decalogue and love. Instead of anti-aestheticism, in 1994-5, he chose aesthetic realisations of mandalas, created from arrangements based on his own body, proving in some way, that scandal was only an episode in his art. In 1995 he took part in one of the most talked about and controversial presentations of the 1990s – Antyciała / Antibodies (CSW Warsaw). His works spoke of the physical, and, implicitly, psychological and religious condition of modern man. In the late 1990s he turned towards a spiritual search (Światło / Light exhibition, Arsenał Gallery, Białystok) using geometrical forms, originating from minimal art and constructivism. He dreams of searching for 'new beauty' (which was a title of his installation created in 2000), distancing himself from Polish postmodernism. In the late 1990s and in the beginning of the present century he's shown works exposing carnality, connecting them to interactive text, presented on liquid crystal screens, also using magnifying glasses and cable coils.
He is an influential teacher. His most renowned students are the graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź: Sławomir Kubala and Paweł Maciak. Kuzyszyn's works form a part of the collections of the CSW in Warsaw, Arsenał Gallery in Białystok and the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporarary Art in Gdańsk.
Author: Krzysztof Jurecki, Museum of Art in Łódź, March 2004, translated by N. Mętrak-Ruda, October 2015.