Two portrets

Exhibition: june – july, 2021

Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok, Poland

The tradition of greeting important guests with bread and salt has been known for a long time. The refreshments offered on the doorstep of the house were to establish a relationship of friendship and trust between the host and the newcomer. Currently, such customs and traditions are deformed and transformed into a more comfortable or even less engaging form. Economic and political instability is causing people to move between countries. It happens that we are invited to places where we are offered seemingly friendly conditions, but often they do not provide stability and peace at all. In a situation where you have no choice but to agree to all conditions, the experience of being hosted is replaced by a sense of hopelessness (not being able to decide for yourself and feeling lost). Behind the invitation and the illusion of good refreshments, there is a counterfeit.

Unknown

Exhibition: may – september, 2021

BWA Wrocław Głowny Gallery, Poland

News reports:

“Legnica. The bust of Marshal Konstantin Rokossovski disappeared from the lapidarium in late July. The police found it in the field – headless. The perpetrators were detained”;

“Lenin lost his head near Orenburg”;

“Why was Christopher Columbus decapitated?”.

In order to say goodbye to the past that we view with distaste, we part with its visual component first. Why does the farewell begin with a symbolic execution, beheading of an already “dead” body? Perhaps this act separates us completely from the inconvenient memories and history which is difficult to accept? And the remaining torso represents an empty space, ready to be recast by forming a new hero? Is it erasing or updating history?We are currently living again in the period of great changes, deformations which have a powerful effect on the way we perceive both the past and the future. Everything that is happening incessantly influences their final shape.

Voices

Exhibition: december, 2020

OP ENHEIM, Wroclaw, Poland

video 38’00

It is becoming more and more difficult for us to follow the passage of time, since the rigging of the presidential election by Alexander Lukashenka. Counting days turned into counting months. Observing the situation from a distance, we admire the solidarity, perseverance and courage of citizens fighting against the regime. I am from Belarus myself. I lived in Minsk for a long time, and all the current developments in this country are especially close to me. 

The revolution is the power of the crowd — hundreds of thousands of protesters. Recently, we have witnessed mass protests also in Poland related to the fight for women’s rights and general opposition to the actions of the authorities. Our actions have something in common – The Revolution is a Woman. Both in Belarus and Poland. 

A month and a half ago, I asked a few female friends from Belarus: female artists, cultural workers, activists, some of whom I met through correspondence, to write a letter. I asked gently, because I did not know what they felt and whether they would like to write back to me, or whether they would like to tell anything at all. 

All the letters are very touching, but there is something in common in all of the statements. They talk about fear, violence and a sense of solidarity. I thank them for having the strength to act. For the fact that they have the courage and the power to talk about what is happening now and that they were able to collect and convey all their emotions in the form of a letter. 

It is especially important to me that the words of my friends from Belarus can be re-enacted by my friends from Poland, who are also active in the field of culture and art here. They share common interests, but are separated by distance. Although these women have never met, these texts have created an unexpected bond between them, on an essentially personal level.  I know how difficult it can be these days. And I am grateful for this experience. 

To summarize the project, I would like to share with you the shortest but most concentrated letter that, to now, has become incredibly important:

I don’t think the pain of what goes far away is any less so we all walk down this corridor transformation as much as we can. I really want to believe that it will all fall apart soon – not in a year, not in a year two years when the wounds of the nation will be incurable.

Masha Maroz

Every Gram Counts

Exhibition: august — december, 2020

Contemporary Museum Wroclaw, Poland

installation, steel, fabric, dimensions variable

The starting point for Ali Savashevich’s installation is the Soviet avant-garde, which in the first decades of the 20th century adopted radical slogans of building a new aesthetics based on formal discipline of simple geometric elements. Only the avant-garde was capable of shattering the old ways of thinking in order to build a new, better world. This form of art was often used as a source of state propaganda, only to be eventually banned and eliminated in favour of socialist realism. Savashevich emphasises the entanglement of art in the mechanisms of propaganda and power, but she also analyses the impact of various art forms and activities in public space on citizens. One of the flags-fabrics making up the levitating “pennant” is clearly superior in terms of its strength and size. Although the artist does not refer directly to the Soviet past, she analyses the universal methods of influencing individuals and the masses by the system. She wants to show how the form can affect human consciousness, turning subjectivity into collectiveness.

Photo Małgorzata Kujda courtesy of Museum

The Rite of Spring

Performance. Live. 9 may 2020

BWA Wroclaw Gallery of Contemporary Art, Poland

On this day in the countries of the post-Soviet area Victory Day is being celebrated , commemorating the end of World War II. Even in the face of the current situation, despite the public health crisis caused by the global epidemic, these celebrations – still have not been cancelled in Belarus.

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How to wash suede gloves

Exhibition: march – june 2020

Wroclaw, Poland

installation, metal, fabric, fabric blinds, artificial leather

Some decorations are replaced by others. We are part of this spectacle even if we think we´re just spectators. The show is over, but the stage decorations remain. Now they are not as important as they once were, since they have lost their previous color, shape and meaning. We are standing on the other side of the shop window, looking at the landscape from which we wanted to escape, which once again reminds us of itself.

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