In the years 2004-2006 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, and in 2006 he took up studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. In 2013 he became the winner of Views 2013 competition. Currently he lives and works in Kraków.
Jastrubczak’s art seems to stem almost completely from his fascination with the possibilities that cinema offers in terms of building new worlds. He is trying to translate the language of fiction films into the outside reality and infect it with fragments of the oblique plot. He always employs surprisingly simple means and unexpensive materials to achieve that end. It was already his project 01 realised in Bytom in 2007 that was a reference to suprematism and minimalism — 20th century art movements (red cube), but also science-fiction films (soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey). As the artist explained in an interview conducted by Stanisław Ruksza:
Malevich wanted to create a new reality, also in the Cosmos. The world in Kubrick’s film is like a leap into Malevich’s dream, yet at the same time it depicts the fall of utopian modernist visions. I was trying to create a portal out of the red cube and cumulate few realities at once. There is, for instance, a room in which HAL, the first computer that was able to think on his own, is killed.
In his action In Order of Appearance (2008), conducted in Berlin, he released the titular inscription arranged from cardboard letters carried by balloons filled with helium into the sky. This way, he annexed reality into the framework of film, which can be compared to the ‘film’ works of Paweł Althamer, which took place in reality and were announced by means of cinema trailers. However, Jastrubczak was seeking a slightly different effect. As he explained,
… the action was supposed to confront two realities: the film one and the ‘real’ one. The moment when the closing credits appear on screen is like waking up for a dream when you no longer sleep, but you’re also not awake.
The artist also said that In Order of Appearance ‘refers to all fictional characters present in reality’.
The inscription THE END (2008), which random passers-by came across in a park, was to create a similar effect. In other installations in public space Jastrubczak was trying to evoke more literal visions, such as in the case of the time when he left some objects (such as a flashlight sheding light on a leaf, headphones and a walkman, and a cardboard palm in the ground) in bushes in Poznań (2008). These could arouse the hidden nature of a detective in a random mushroom picker and make him look for a mysterious crime.
The slideshow Sleepwalk (2008) was supposed to create an effect of a mysterious, film-like, perilous walk through the woods. The slides were interwoven with empty frames, and the projector’s light was blinding the viewers, causing an afterimage and making the displayed images unreal, as if taken from a dream.
The geometrical crack in the ceiling (Repulsion, 2008), created to pay homage to Marian Szpakowski, an artist from Zielona Góra, was a reference to Roman Polański’s film Repulsion, starring Catherine Deneuve. This way, a figment of the sick imagination was translated into a modernist motif (and the other way around).
The cinematic experience was also a reference point for Jastrubczak’s action realised in Warsaw, titled Plan, kontrplan i jedno długie ujęcie (editor’s translation: Shot, countershot, and mastershot). A solitary figure dressed in black appeared at the bank of River Wisła, overlapping with an analogical silhouette moving on a boat; both figures were staring at the same point in the distance.
Even while creating exhibitions composed of his previous works, Jastrubczak puts emphasis on incorporating the works into some sort of a film-like narration (for instance NTSC in BWA Gallery in Zielona Góra, 2010, or Tropiki / Tropics in Galeria Pies in Poznań, 2010).
Jastrubczak has been co-operating with the Finnish artist Markku Peltola. They were united by their mutual fascination with Edmund Monsiel, a Polish visual artist suffering from schizophrenia, who died in 1962. Among other works, a portrait of three artists was created — a sculpture made from unsustainable materials, doomed to slow decay. Jastrubczak and Peltola have also created the film Locke/Robertson and 2013, narrating the story of an unearthed book whose author, paranoid about the number 2013, discovers it in 20 different films.
In 2013 the international jury of Views 2013 competition proclaimed Łukasz Jastrubczak the most interesting Polish artist of the young generation in the past two years. The winer received the prize — 15,000 euro — from the Deutsche Bank Foundation ‘on account of a daring experimentation, a non-instrumental, independent approach to current technologies, a freedom in engaging with dominant discourses, an ephemerality, sensitivity, and ability to work with transpositions of perception and marginal phenomena’.
Fragment of Buchbuch film, directed by Łukasz Jastrubczak and Krzysztof Kaczmarek; see more at ninateka.pl
Author: Karol Sienkiewicz, June 2010, update: Agnieszka Sural, October 2013, translation: Natalia Sajewicz, August 2016
- curated by_Sebastian Cichocki: Łukasz Jastrubczak - hollow blocks in windowless room, Knoll Galerie, Vienna, Austria
- The Crack, sculpture in urban space, Wybrzeże Gdyńskie 2, Warsaw
- Mirage, In Order Of Appearance, Cricoteka, screening, Kraków
- Liste Art Fair Basel, Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
- All Works on Letter S, Galeria Miejska Arsenał, Poznań
- Ghost, Dawid Radziewski Gallery, Warsaw
- Still life, Bank Pekao PROJECT ROOM, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (together with Krzysztof Kaczmarek)
- Mirage, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
- Lucciola, Galeria Pies, Poznań;
- Mirage, Sabot Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
- NTSC, BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra
- Wszystkie prace z kołem / All works with a circle, Galeria ZPAF i Ska, Kraków
- Tropiki / Tropics, Galeria Pies, Poznań
- Distant Drum, Art in General, New York, USA
- 2013, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- White Video, ŻAK|BRANICKA, Berlin, Germany
- Film Noir, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- 01, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- Doing the impossible light, ARTON Foundation, Warsaw
- You've fallen in love with someone that doesn't exist. Theatre art, play exhibition, National Old Theatre, Kraków
- Pure Formality, Gallery Labirynt, Lublin
- State of Life: Polish Contemporary Art within a Global Circumstance, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
- Procedures for the Head - Polish Art Today, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia
- The Moderna Exhibition - Society Acts, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden
- Vanishing Point, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, Switzerland
- Cold, Warm and Nonhuman, BWA Sokół, Nowy Sącz
- Echoes, Photo Month in Kraków 2014, Galeria Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
- Doniosłość kurzu / The significance of dust, Botanical Garden Museum, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
- Przaja moimu Hajmatowi, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- As you can see – Polish Art Today, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
- Impossibility vs. Self-Censorship, Matadero, Madrid, Spain
- Powrót do Domu / Return Home, Colette Monastery, Kraków
- Six-line Staff, Chopin Museum, Warsaw
- Mleczne Zęby / Milk Teeth, BWA Gallery, Katowice
- Broken Movie, BWA Awangarda Gallery, Wrocław
- New Performance Festival, Turku, Finland
- Rękawiczki Jeffa Koons’a / Jeff Koons’s Gloves, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- It's time for sneakers!, Kuenstlerhaus, Dortmund, Germany
- Tarnów. 1000 lat nowoczesności / Tarnów. 1000 years of modernity, BWA Gallery, Tarnów
- Not in Place, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
- Polish Contemporary Art from the Collection of the National Museum in Kraków (with Krzysztof Kaczmarek), Ministry of Culture, Warsaw
- Katolicy w Kronice / Catholics in Kronika, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- Body in the Library (with Krzysztof Kaczmarek), BWA Design Gallery, Wrocław
- No Sleep!, BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra
- Zniknij nad Wisłą / Disappear by River Wisła, Warsaw
- Ostatni dzień lata / Last Day of Summer, Galeria Pies, Poznań;
- Sport for non-athletic, ZPAF i Ska Gallery, Kraków
- Polish Alphabet, BWA Gallery, Tarnów
- Umpolen, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna
- Alternatif Turistik, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- Establishment (As a Source of Suffering), Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
- Ain't No Sorry, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
- Helsinki by Night, Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin
- North Pole, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- Marian Szpakowski — kontynuacja / Marian Szpakowski — continuation, Muzeum Ziemi Lubuskiej, Zielona Góra
- We Go Far Beyond, Starter Gallery, Poznań
- Lighthouse Ankara, central station, Ankara, Turkey
- Manual CC, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom
- Czarna dziura / Black hole, Centre for Contemporary Art Kronika, Bytom