Indepth Arts News: |
"Katarzyna Kozyra: video and photographic works"
2001-01-28 until 2001-03-27
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
Kozyra, one of the most interesting names in new Polish art, was born in Warsaw in 1963. After studying at the German Philology Institute of the Warsaw Institute, she went on to study at the Sculpture Department of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art between 1988 - 93. After completing her post- graduate studies at Hochscule fuer Graphik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, she now works in video and photography, combining elements of painting, theatre and performance art. Her work attempts to investigate what it means to be human, from new, often challenging perspectives.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Kozyra has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions in various parts of Europe. In 1999 she represented Poland at the Venice Biennale, where her video installation ‘Men’s Bathhouse’ received an Honorable Mention.
In the 'The Rite of Spring 1', Kozyra again challenges conventional notions of what is ugly or beautiful, and examines how the artist manipulates both model and image. The poses are taken from Nijinksky's choreography for Stravinsky's historical ballet, but instead of the beauty and grace of ballerinas, the viewer is confronted by bodies which are conventionally 'ugly' - old, too thin, too fat. Manipulation takes place on many levels, from the artist helping or even forcing the models into different poses, to further distortion by digital alteration.
Still from Men's Bathhouse, 1991