Katarzyna Krakowiak. Absolute Beginners | Całkowicie początkujący

Curator: Anna Smolak
Opening: 23 January 2015, 6 pm
The exhibition will run: 24 January – 1 March 2015

For Katarzyna Krakowiak, waves and the vibrations they cause are part of how she perceives and defines reality. The artist calls her works architectural compositions or sound sculptures. These are barely noticeable interventions in buildings, whose power lies in the combination of two media of diametrically different impact – monumental and durable, architectural forms and non-figurative sounds. The critical potential of her works is never expressed straight-forwardly; rather, it manifests itself in exposing the tension between what is permanent and ephemeral, tangible and elusive, accessible and excluded – in its ability to disturb the hierarchy of the use of space and its perception.
At BWA SOKÓŁ in Nowy Sącz, Katarzyna Krakowiak has placed carrier pigeons. We can see them through the glass expanse of the walls but we cannot get at them. Since the birds came to dwell inside the staircase, the main architectural communication route has been cut off. The huge glass case that spans the building accumulates alien energy. The tightly sealed interior makes it impossible for it to escape.
The artist has left the spacious exhibition halls empty. The only images that percolate inside are fragments of the landscape of a small section of the town; also a fragment of nature, dormant in the winter, has been introduced into the building. However, it is only theoretically accessible. The pane of glass creates a sense of insulation and distance. Just as a TV screen does, it demarcates the boundary between two implied realities. The dissonance between these spaces has also been emphasised in the acoustic layer.
Absolute Beginners is about thwarted communication. This is a precise operation on the viewer’s habits, expectations and tendency to idealise things; all these are at all times tested when encountering reality.

The work has been created thanks to the support and involvement of the local community of carrier pigeon breeders.
A booklet will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Katarzyna Krakowiak (b. 1980) lives and works in Gdańsk. She works with sculpture and architecture, using various communication media, especially sound. In 2012, she received a special mention for Making the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great powers, her individual exhibition in the Polish Pavilion at Common Ground, the 13th International Exhibition of Architecture in the Venice Biennale. Her most important exhibitions include: Chute, Fact Gallery, Liverpool (2013); Shorthand Possibility 02: Growth P!, New York (2012);  All. FM Tallinn Kumu Kunstimuuseum, Tallinn (2011); Panorama, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, Krakow (2011). Her works have been presented in exhibitions including: W stronę instytucji krytycznej [Towards a Critical Institution], Arsenal Municipal Gallery, Poznań (2014); The Great and the Secret Show / The Look Out Gallery, PERFORMA13,  with Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York,  2013; Game and Theory at the South London Gallery, London, 2009. In 2012 she gave a lecture-performance at the Faculty of Architecture at Columbia University in New York. Since 2011, has been a lecturer at the Studio of Urban Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.


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Galeria BWA SOKÓŁ w ramach projektu "Budowa Małopolskiej Galerii Sztuki NA BURSZTYNOWYM SZLAKU w Nowym Sącz". Projekt współfinansowany z Europejskiego Rozwoju Funduszu Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego na lata 2007-2013.