Exploring different creative approaches to the reading and misreading of recent Polish art history, this screening brings together films and a lecture-performance by Agnieszka Polska (b. 1985) with films by Jean–Marie Drot, Krzysztof Tchórzewski and Hanna Włodarczyk about Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973), whose work – recently acquired by Tate – is currently the subject of a major retrospective touring internationally. The event will be followed by a discussion between Agnieszka Polska with curators Elena Filipovic, Stuart Comer and Kasia Redzisz.
Agnieszka Polska critically reconciles her relationship to the historical avant-garde through stunning animated videos, photographs, and reconstructions. Her approach to the archive is accomplished often through misunderstanding and misinterpretation to generate new questions about the past and to further complicate how it can be used to reshape the present.
The Forgetting of Proper Names 2009 and My Favorite Things 2010 present works by artists including Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, Walter de Maria and Wolf Vostell that are pulled from their primary context and, as a consequence, deprived of their ‘artistic’ function. The video Sensitization to Colour 2009 refers to the performance of the same title made in 1968 by an avant-garde artist, Włodzimierz Borowski, one of the key figures of Polish conceptualism. The film is a hypothetical reconstruction of the performance, based on black-and-white photographs documenting it.
The presentation of Polska’s videos and lecture-performance is followed by a screening of three films presenting different takes on Alina Szapocznikow: Jean-Marie’s Drot’s interview with the artist shot in her studio in Warsaw in 1969, recently discovered footage by Krzysztof Tchórzewski shot shortly after the artist’s death in her studio in Malakoff, and Hanna Włodarczyk’s poetic and mysterious documentary, The Trace (Ślad) 1976.
Szapocznikow held a unique position in the post-war European avant-garde. Her work, which fuses late, dark Surrealism with a bright and sexually provocative Pop sensibility, spans a continuously productive period from the 1950s to her untimely death in 1973.