Krzysztof Kaczmarek is a visual artist and filmmaker, born in 1983 in Blachownia, Silesian Voivodeship.
Visual artist and filmmaker, born in 1983 in Blachownia.
Between 2004-2007, Krzysztof Kaczmarek studied navigation at the Gdynia Maritime University. Later, between 2006-2009, he attended the Graphic Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, while in 2009-2011, he went to Vienna’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste. He is the co-founder of the Artpol Gallery based in Kraków. Kaczmarek works across various media, but is mostly interested in the medium of film, especially documentary. He lives and works in Warsaw, and is represented by the Dawid Radziszewski Gallery.
Experiments with film
Krzysztof Kaczmarek works somewhat off the mainstream of the art scene. He normally takes 2-3 years to complete his movie projects, which he finances from his own pocket. In 2006, he realized the film Aleksandria (DVD, 9’ 2’’), which touched on the subjects of memory and death. It was filmed in the author’s grandmother’s house near Częstochowa, which was intended for demolition. Kaczmarek asked his brother-in-law to tell the life story of his deceased grandmother while walking around her home’s interior. The extremely personal narrative was told by someone who had never met the film’s protagonist. Subsequently, the artist removed almost the entire visual content of the video, leaving only a black screen and occasional vague views of the rooms’ interiors. The soundtrack, which was sourced from an amateur film made by the brother-in-law, played a significant role here.
The artist’s full-length film debut Pompenzuballen (DVD, 71’) premiered at the 2010 Era New Horizons festival. Ewa Szabłowska, a curator, described this multi-dimensional film:
Pompenzuballen presents Aleksandria – the village in which Kaczmarek spent his holidays as a child, and to which he is therefore very closely attached. The film does not, however, function as a sentimental homage, but a down-to-earth, almost anthropological analysis of the place, its residents, and their mysterious habits. Kaczmarek employs the perspective of a puzzled foreigner, of a strange – he ponders on the various local curiosities: the meeting of the farmers’ wives’ association, cheerleaders dancing to the rhythm of a car alarm, an alcohol binge, or a broadcast about the benefits of mushroom picking, played from a car radio. Kaczmarek reinforces the sense of distance by introducing specific stylistic solutions: he quotes excerpts from classic films or American commercials from the 1950s. He also reveals the details of the audition that took place before making the film, where all participants faced the same acting task. They were all expected to… hug. The vision of the Polish countryside in Pompenzuballen resembles a flickering kaleidoscope image: a subtle shift makes the whole thing look completely different.
In 2010, Kaczmarek teamed up with Łukasz Jastrubczak to found a Kraków-based art collective called Krzysztofjastrubczakłukaszkaczmarek. They create video performances, films, objects, and musical compositions. In 2010 they realized a video piece titled Buchbuch. In it, the artists carry out a series of performances in a private home or in a garden. The piece was indirectly inspired by the activities of 1990s Dutch TV anchor Boudewijn Büch, a book fetishist. Buchbuch was shown at the group’s first individual exhibition Still Life (Martwa Natura), which took place in 2012 at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. In 2011, the duo organized a touring showcase of Polish films, titled What's the Difference between Pawel and Wawel, which took place in Iceland. Over the course of two months, the artists and their collaborators travelled around the island and set up screenings of four films from the 1960s at various venues: culture centres, cinemas, and restaurants, whilst simultaneously producing a film documenting the project.
fragment filmu wideo Buchbuch, reż. Łukasz Jastrubczak, Krzysztof Kaczmarek; więcej na ninateka.pl
Selected individual exhibitions:
- Martwa Natura/Still Life, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Krzysztofjastrubczakłukaszkaczmarek)
- Wystawa której nie było/An Exhibition That Didn’t Take Place, Kronika, Bytom
- Tajemnica Statuetki/ The Secret of the Statuette, Goldex Poldex, Kraków (with Łukasz Jastrubczak)
- Alfabet polski: 2/The Polish Alphabet: 2, BWA City Gallery, Tarnów
- Pompenzuballen, Delikatesy Gallery, Kraków
- Kiszterbuk, Artpol, Kraków
Selected group exhibitions:
- Polska Sztuka Współczesna z Kolekcji Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie/Contemporary Polish Art From the Collection of the National Museum in Kraków, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Warsaw
- Nevaeh ot yawriats, Pies Gallery, Poznań
- Riding the Wave, Waterside Project Space, London
- Body in the Library, BWA Gallery, Wrocław
- Letni, Nieletni/ The Summer of Youth, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
- Do widzenia, do jutra/See You Tomorrow, Pies Gallery, Poznań
- Heavy rain fell and in the summer John Smith travelled to the farmland, Semper Depot, Vienna
- 16 things which have not be found, Artpol, Kraków
- Artists, football and puma, Kunsthaus, Nuremberg
Author: Ewa Gorządek, November 2014