Selected Works. For this exhibition he produced 10 films with the theme work. The Berlin works "Ursula", "Patricia", and "Dieter", developed in co-production between the artist and the Video-Forum and (like the Sicilian produced works with "Aldo", "Giuseppe", and "Salvatore" as well as "Yolanda" from Juarez, Mexico) will be exhibited. In addition to these debut works, the Polish produced videos "Danuta", "Dorata", and "Halina" will also be shown. Adjacent a "study room" with his older work.
Curator: Kathrin Becker, Video-Forum
"The reason was, that there is absolutely no reason at all, that one should be interested in these (...) women, and there is definitely less of a reason to make a film about them."
Artur Zmijewski (born 1966 in Warsaw) is counted as one of Poland’s most renowned contemporary artists. In 2005, the photo and video artist represented the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and is one of the artists that have been named to participate prior to this year’s Documenta 12 announcement. The Video-Forum of the NBK honors his work with a comprehensive solo exhibition in Berlin.
Artur Zmijewski references with his works to suppressed (displaced) individuals and societal trauma. He pokes his finger into the open wounds to incite political discussions. Upon the first glance, Zmijewski's images appear merely documentary, however the analytical staging of the artist becomes clearly recognizable through the selection of images during the editing process. Zmijewski does not shy away from putting the generally accepted rules of "Political Correctness" into question, yet his camera lingers on those very places in the art production which often become an oversight because of a conscious intent of avoidance or of mere carelessness. So far Zmijewski’s work about mentally and physically handicapped people has called wide public attention.
For the Berlin exhibition "Selected Works" Zmijewski produced ten films with the theme work. The Berlin works "Ursula", "Patricia", and "Dieter", developed in co-production between the artist and the Video-Forum and (like the Sicilian produced works with "Aldo", "Giuseppe", and "Salvatore" as well as "Yolanda" from Juarez, Mexico) will be exhibited for the first time in public. In addition to these debut works, the Polish produced videos "Danuta", "Dorata", and "Halina" will also be shown. Adjacent to the ten video pieces dealing with the theme Work, a "study room" with older work of Artur Zmijewski will also be exhibited.
For every film, the artist follows a person 24 hours long, whereupon he cuts 15 to 18 minutes out of the selected material. It was not only filmed in the work place but also in their private everyday life, the way to work, in the supermarket, sleeping. The scenes do not follow any linear proceedings, instead images from their professional life are interchanged back-to-back with takes of them shopping or in the kitchen.
With the "Selected Works" the artist is neither concerned about socio-political agitation nor about the mediacy of objective truths nor scientific findings. He attempts to give the recipient, the traditional elitist middle class art observer, another perspective of the workers, instead of what they would commonly believe that they have no desire or pursuit of an interesting job and are unable to conduct an interesting conversation. However, Zmijewski claims it to be "worthwhile to be interested in this grey cold material, that fills the societal cosmos and snidely is labeled as "mainstream". They are the mainstream and therefore in a "class of their own".
For the exhibition a catalog will be published from Revolver Publishers with essays by Artur Zmijewski, Richard Sennett and Kathrin Becker, as well as conversations between the artist and Sebastian Cichocki, Roma Piotrowska and Maks Bochenek.
The Project is kindly supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie under the recommendation of Regierender Bürgermeisters von Berlin - Senatskanzlei - Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.
Image: Artur Zmijewski: Aldo, 2007, videostill
Opening: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 7 pm
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK)
Chausseestr. 128/129 10115 Berlin
Opening hours: Tue - Fri 12 to 6 pm, Sat + Sun 2 - 6 pm