Prototypes 04: Agata Siniarska. (Land)Slip
(Land)Slip, an exhibition by Agata Siniarska, the fourth event organised as part of the Prototypes project based on the collection of Muzeum Sztuki, will examine material aspects of creating works of art and their further fate that often escape our visual perception, as well as the twofold role thereof: as an archive of processes involved in memory and forgetting and as the ability to preserve and destroy structures of the existing world.
ms², 19 Ogrodowa St, ground floor
Artists create worlds. Let us reach beyond the world of visual arts for a moment, to Ursula K. Le Guin, who in her novels sent us, her readers, to planets with different customs and relationships that existed (exclusively?) in our imagination – knew this very well. In one of her essays, she wrote: “To make a new world, you start with an old one, certainly. To find a world, maybe you have to have lost one. Maybe you have to be lost. The dance of renewal, the dance that made the world, was always danced here at the edge of things, on the brink...” Where is this “here” and “now”? Perhaps at this point it is right below our feet. Isn’t this the abyss that we are staring into right now? The mass extinction of species, climate annihilation, and other gradual or abrupt cataclysms that herald the real end of the world, such as humans and ecosystems disappearing from areas that will be soon impossible to inhabit because of global warming.
What would this dance be like, creating a new world on the ruins of the old one? Dance is not just a form of expression, but it is also an active exploration of the possibilities of one’s own body: the relationship between its muscles, joints, tendons, limbs and space. Finally, it is a non-verbal tool for establishing relationships with other bodies. As one of the fields of art, it activates people in the most literal way, mobilizing their body and thoughts to work in a different way. In the simplest terms, choreography, as one of the most important methodologies of work in dance, involves composing movement and conceiving the relationships between bodies across time and space; and understanding how the audience will perceive this network of relations.
Together with Agata Siniarska, this is how we feel about the exhibition, which has been prepared in dialogue with selected works from the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. The bodies in question are the exhibited artworks, and their mutual relations are only seemingly static – after all, they are constantly re-created with each movement of a visitor’s body; and their awareness gives rise to new associations, interpretations, thoughts, and feelings. For us, this movement determines the dynamics of the exhibition, in which we study the process of the collapse of matter, thoughts, emotions, and memory. It is not a slipping towards something, but rather the very downward movement towards the ground, dictated by the laws of gravity. Slipping away is understood as a slow departure (from this world, from memory, from history?).
The exhibition is a kind of an other archive (as proposed in her text by Agata Siniarska) – an archive of the material qualities of artworks that preserve traces of the artist’s work. Do Alina Szapocznikow’s sculptures, so often composed of casts of her legs or belly, constitute an archive of her body? Are not Jadwiga Maziarska’s collages an archive of the liveliness of her visual imagination, with her sketches exploring and breaking down the patterns of perception and the very materiality of forms, textures, phenomena, and relationships? Are Maria Jarema’s mono- types not an archive of tensions of forms and shapes that can be related to the nervous system of a living organism? The archive, understood in this way, is in itself a living, pulsating organism, whose sole purpose is to enter into relationships with other organisms, and the only principle of acting, continuous change. Within the framework of the exhibition, the archive is the space and time, the past and the future, meeting in the process of sensory feeling and imagining our shared present.
Together with Justyna Stasiowska, Agata Siniarska created a sonic landscape for the exhibition and anchored it in the materiality of works of art and in invisible processes of decay that they undergo. In a way, it provides a continuous interface with the phantom-like presence of the artist and echoes the performance that she will show only several times during the exhibition. This is what the (Land)slip is for us. The exhibition as a story capable to encapsulate multiple parallel narratives and contradictory emotions, capacious and non-hierarchical. When the worlds are slipping, when they gradually disappear, we need a new type of story. If it is not for artists, who else could tell these new stories linked with the difficult art of survival on our destroyed planet?
Katarzyna Słoboda, curator
Artists: Simone Forti, Krystyna Gorazdowska, Izabella Gustowska, Barbara Hammer, Rebecca Horn, Agata Ingarden, Maria Jarema, Jadwiga Maziarska, Ana Mendieta, Aiko Miyawaki, Teresa Murak, Fortunata Obrąpalska, Ludwika Ogorzelec, Agata Siniarska, Justyna Stasiowska, Ludmila Stehnová, Alina Szapocznikow
Agata Siniarska in her investigations touches, among others, stage practices, video, and lectures. She is interested in building up knowledge that examines diverse media, protocols, and self-developed strategies without imposing any hierarchies. She is also interested in all sorts of knowledge aimed to engage, not to explain. Siniarska is the founder of fxtrouble (formerly ’female trouble’) – a collective whose activities are centred around aspects of identity, carnality, feminisms, pleasure, afirmation, and love; she is also a co-founder of Pinpoint TV, an artistic research project that has been designed as an Internet TV channel set within intersecting art-scenes of Berlin.
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