WRO MEDIA ART BIENNALE 2015
Co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland Co-funded by the WrocĹ‚aw Municipality | www.wroclaw.pl
WRO MEDIA ART BIENNALE 2015
TEST EXPOSURE ON TOUR
exhibition opening at the National Museum, Wrocław
WRO 2015 The program of the 16th WRO Media Art Biennale Test Exposure featured works of 250 artists from 35 countries, including 127 installations, objects, and applications at exhibitions, 100 video works in 11 screening programs, and 23 performances. The program was accompanied by 25 lectures and workshops. There were 19 curator guided tours and a special Little WRO program for kids as part of the active art mediation program.
WRO 2015 ON TOUR WRO 2015 on Tour features 29 video works and 13 documentations of the performative acts and exhibitions selected from this year’s Biennale program. Booking info: Małgorzata Sikorska / email@example.com +48 (71) 343 32 40 wro2015.wrocenter.pl | fb/WroMediaArtBiennale | fb/WROArtCenter
WRO 2015 ON TOUR PROGRAM It has been our tradition to round up each WRO Biennale by sending it on tour. The itinerary ensembles commonly include videos and recordings documenting the opulent program of shows, exhibitions, performances, actions, and events presented at Wrocław, which encapsulate its highlights – the most intriguing artworks and artists, but also the themes and issues most germane to the current developments in arts. We continue this tradition this year as well. The WRO 2015 on Tour selection consists of 29 video works and 13 video documentations which showcase the abundance of Test Exposure – the 16th WRO 2015 Media Art Biennale. Among them are artworks created in more than twenty countries between 2013 and 2015. Screen works represent a copious and pertinent panorama of varied attitudes, issues, and aesthetics defining the latest art worldwide and ranging from body, animation, and video experimentations, through richly symbolic film visions and works addressing the social media mechanisms operative in the real world, to austere, nearly documentary, socially and politically topical recordings. The collection features also works that directly reference current and historical issues in arts, such as minimal art, earth art, brutalism, performance and, finally, illusion and manipulation in and through the media. This diversified collection coalesces into the title notion of Test Exposure – the umbrella term of the WRO 2015 Biennale. The term, as such, is ambiguous and potentially
deceptive as “test exposure” may designate “a trial exposure” and, at the same time, “a testing exposure.” The very word exposure in itself conveys a multiplicity of meanings, including exhibition and presentation, as well as disclosure, unveiling, and unmasking, but also vulnerability and hazard. This is actually what the latest WRO Biennale sought to achieve – to put recent art to the test when confronted with the audience, and to put the viewers to the test when exposed to art in a variety of spaces, circumstances, and contexts. It produced a unique test to the autonomy and resilience of art, which, embedded in contemporary life, faces up both to the designs various political and economic agendas have on it and to the challenges of pop culture, which formats our – the public’s – expectations, preferred understandings, and aesthetic habits. How does art handle the joint demands of attractiveness and intelligibility today? How will the public and the critics respond to departures from the normative, mainstream discourse, which call for thoughtful focus, interpretive independence and, ultimately, attention and confidence in one’s own, oft insecure sensibility? Such queries inform the collection of WRO 2015 on Tour. It can be watched as a tripartite whole, but it is also available in a more condensed, synoptic selection. Piotr Krajewski artistic director
WRO ON TOUR
REJECTIONS Emmanuel Avenel + Marie-France Giraudon, CA video, 3:15
GOOGLE 03: SO RUDE, SO POOR, SO HOT Borja Rodríguez Alonso, ES video, 5:28
The video is a paradoxical exploration of the glacial environment while walking through it. The interplay of purity and pollution causes an intense clash of the visual and the aural. As the foot-camera is moving, instead of the landscape it registers the accumulation of human waste, and gets caught up in garbage. Marie-France Giraudon, a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Montreal, where she is currently studying visual arts at the University of Quebec. She has participated in numerous national and international events. She started a collaboration with Emmanuel Avenel in 1985.
Using the Google search engine to find out what people think and what categories they rely on, the artist discovers unsettling abstractions, truths, fallacies, desires, and fears that concern us all. Borja Rodríguez Alonso, a visual artist and essayist specializing in the influence of new technologies on social dynamics.
Emmanuel Avenel, born in France, he lives in Montreal. His work is focused on exploring the links between nature, art, and ecology. Since 1981, Avenel has been traveling across Europe and Canada on foot. The hiking trail brings him closer to the landscape which he photographs and video-records. The work is in the distribution of Groupe Intervention Vidéo (GIV).
FILM FOR IMAGINARY MUSIC
BODY LANGUAGE / MOWA CIAŁA
Mikhail Basov + Natalia Basova, RU video, 6:29
Michał Brzeziński, PL affective installation / WRO 2015 documentation
An old vinyl disc, usually cautiously protected from dust and scratching, reveals new qualities as it rolls along the seashore, in sand and pebbles. The video has no natural sound or music so that the viewer is compelled to imagine what music was recorded on the disc and what sound was produced as it was cutting a groove in the sand. Mikhail Basov, a filmmaker and media artist. His works have been exhibited, among others, at the Busan International Video Festival in Korea, the VIDEOAKT in Barcelona, the Experimental Film Festival in Portland, the Miden Festival in Athens, and the Oslo Screen Festival as well as in Italy, Brazil, and the USA. Natalia Basova, a photographer and media artist. Her most notable projects have been presented, among others, at the Experiment Gallery in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, the Angle Art Contemporain Gallery in SaintPaul-Trois-Chateaux, and the WINZAVOD Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow. Her works are to be found in private collections in Russia, Canada, and the USA.
A Bonsai tree is observed by sensors, similar to those used in the EEG (electroencephalography), to examine the bioelectric activity of the plant. Signals from the sensors are converted by custom software into words and sentences. The chunks of text are also being posted on the blog and social media: the tree runs a fanpage on Facebook under the name of “Body Language – WRO Art Biennial 2015.”
Michał Brzeziński, an artist, media theorist, futurologist and culture scholar. In his work, he brings together video, software, and biological wetware. His artistic practice is rooted also in music subcultures and video art. He has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Art in Łódź, the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk, and the Bunker of Art in Cracow. Building on conceptual art and mediated arts experience, he formulated the strategy labeled as Fake Art. His works have been shown in several >>> 7
WRO ON TOUR
Body Language, installation at the WRO Art Center
galleries, including the Bunker of Art in Cracow, the Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk, the Museum of Art in Łódź, the Manhattan Gallery in Łódź, the BWA Galleries in Kielce and Sanok, the Los Angeles Center For Digital Art, the Museum of Bat Yam in Israel, the Platan Gallery in Budapest, the Orensanz Museum in New York,
Fest | Nova in Georgia, and the Kino Siska in Ljubljana. He has exhibited at numerous festivals in Poland, including the Łódź Biennale (2006), the Poznań Photo Biennale (2008), INSPIRACJE (2008) and the PRZECIĄG Festival in Szczecin (2009), and the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wrocław (2013, 2015).
WRO 2015 AWARD (ex aequo)
BIG DIPPER Michael Candy, AU kinetic-light sculpture / WRO 2015 documentation
Big Dipper, installation at the Renoma Department Store
Resembling a big crab or a spider, nine pairs of luminous limbs move smoothly through the central helix mechanism, twirling into a 3D-coil. Long, tube-like bulbs, attached to a metal “spine,” fall freely into a variety of shapes. Michael Candy, graduated in Fine Arts & Industrial Design from the Queensland University of Technology. He constructs kinetic installations and electromechanical objects that oftentimes exist on the verge of what is socially or ethically legal. Through the deconstruction and analysis of everyday devices, he has developed
a unique rationale of “instinctive engineering,” which he uses to investigate interaction technologies. He has been involved in residencies and projects across the country and internationally, most notably: First Draft (Sydney), Next Wave (Melbourne), the Instrument Builders Project, and the Hackteria Lab (Yogyakarta). In 2010, he was a finalist for the Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize. He has collaborated with established artists, such as Anthony Lister and Keith Armstrong, and been mentored by several artists, including Craig Walsh and Wade Marynowsky.
WRO ON TOUR
LISTED Seoungho Cho, KR video, 10:16
The film documents a new consciousness the artist develops through attentive observation of the fleeting phenomena of everyday life. While watching the world from his studio window, he notices and records ephemeral events, colors, lights, and shadows, which mutate constantly as time passes. Seoungho Cho, he received his M.A. from New York University. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship. His solo exhibitions have included, among others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Montevideo in Amsterdam, and the Leeum Museum of Modern Art in Seoul. His installations are part of permanent collections of several institutions, including New York’s MOMA, Seoul’s Leeum Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles International Airport. In 2012, Cho’s Buoy was presented as a massive multi-channel installation in Times Square, New York. He lives and works in New York.
FRAGMENTS ON MACHINES Emma Charles, UK video, 17:10
The work reveals the physical framework and materiality of the Internet, a vast network often thought and spoken about solely in abstract terms. Emma Charles, studied Photography at the Royal College of Art and Editorial Photography at the University of Brighton. Working with both photography and moving image, her work explores metropolitan spaces of productivity that are hidden from the public eye, primarily focusing on the more ethereal and abstract elements of industry and corporate environments. Her works have been shown, among others, at the Jerwood Visual Arts Project Space in London, the Museum of Sculpture in Marl (Germany), and the 7Samar Gallery in Tehran as well as during the Kassel Dokfest and the FotoFocus Biennial in Cincinnati. She was recently awarded a Villiers David Bursary Award and Christopherson Foundation Grant.
The Symbiosity of Creation, installation at the WRO Art Center
THE CRITICS AND EDITORS OF ART MAGAZINES AWARD WRO 2015
THE SYMBIOSITY OF CREATION Jarosław Czarnecki, a.k.a. Elvin Flamingo, PL environment / WRO 2015 documentation The Symbiosity of Creation project began in 2012 and is planned to continue for at least 20 years until, approximately, 2034. The idea behind The Symbiosity of Creation was to create a work that would be more than just an artifact showcasing its creator’s demiurge-like powers. It was supposed to live a life of its own, and yet to participate in, interact and be symbiotic with the artist, who, in abdicating his demiurgic position, would merge with it as its uncompromising part. The project consists of four parts: 1. Reconstruction of a Non-human Culture; 2. Kingdom of the Shared Quotidian; 3. Subterranean Struggle; 4. After Humans: The Biocorporation. The construction and internal life of the installation are made up by four superorganisms: Atta sexdens (part 1), Oecophylla smaragdina (part 2), Camponotus vagus and Camponotus herculeanus (part 4).
Undetectable by the human ear, the sounds emitted by the ants are amplified many times by sensitive contact microphones. Jarosław Czarnecki, a.k.a. Elvin Flamingo, studied at the Faculty of Painting and Graphic Arts at the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, 1987-1991 (currently the Academy of Fine Arts). A founder and leader of the Onion Center Club, an absurdist movement and musical group that performed cacophonic jazz (1999-2001). In 1988-2011, he worked as a freelance commercial graphic designer. He initiated the campaign to save the Sopot railway station sign (2011) and the Save the Shipyard Styrofoam Action at the Gdańsk Shipyard (2013). In 2011-2014, he was a doctoral student at the Transdisciplinary Workshop at the Faculty of Sculpture and Intermedia, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. The Symbiosity of Creation is his doctoral project.
WRO ON TOUR
DÉMONTABLE THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE
Douwe Dijkstra, NL video, 12:06
Alexei Dmitriev. RU video, 3:05
The film looks at the hidden pleasures involved in the artifacts of VHS adult films. The old, grainy tape shows re-edited scenes from a porn movie; the soundtrack is an instrumental version of the song The Shadow of Your Smile. But the source-material begins to censor itself via its unstable image calibration. Alexei Dmitriev, once a teacher of English and literature, now he works as a visual artist, curator, and programmer.
A playful film on the absurd relationship between daily life and global news. War is waged on the kitchen table while a man drinks coffee. Helicopters shred his newspaper; a drone fires at a plate of broccoli. The world’s on fire... Douwe Dijkstra, a video artist and filmmaker. He works with different media, ranging from music videos and short films to video installations and theater. Together with Jules van Hulst and Coen Huisman, he founded the 33⅓ Collective. He is also a co-founder of the Festina Lente Collective, a creative Amsterdam-based network/ agency he works with.
performance Brise-Glace at the Wrocław Philharmonic
BRISE-GLACE / ICEBREAKER Luc Ferrari, FR concert / video performance / WRO 2015 documentation the world premiere of Luc Ferrari’s Brise Glace: En un tournement d’amour – a live performance with a new orchestration and video projection The video created by Bartosz Konieczny and realized by the WRO Art Center is a re-interpretation of Brise-Glace, a multimedia composition by Pascal Emmanuel Gallet based on extracts from the three-
-part film Brise-Glace (Le Bateau-Givre by Jean Rouch, Hans Majestäts Isbrytaren Frej by Titte Törnroth, and Histoires de Glace by Raoul Ruiz) and on photos Katalin Volcsanszky took for the book BriseGlace: Le Paysage blanc by P-E. Gallet. collaborative project carried out with the Musica Electronica Nova Festival, partnered by the National Forum of Music
WRO ON TOUR
PAINTER’S PAINTING UNISONO
Wojciech Gilewicz, PL video, 8:00
Alessandro Fonte, IT video, 2:37
A subtle video that features a man playing one extended note on his violin with his back turned to the audience. The initial impression that he is performing solo is dispelled when two vacuum-cleaners accompanying him “in unison” appear in sight. The work reflects upon memory, its solitude and the processes of its rise and decline. Alessandro Fonte, a media artist. He has a multidisciplinary background including a Master’s degree with Honors in Architecture and Engineering, visual art workshops and residencies. He engages with diverse media ranging from video to installation and performance. His works have been shown, among others, at the Venice Biennale and the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana. He lives and works between Italy and Slovenia.
The installation is based on a looped video documenting a painting performance. The artist – always dressed exactly the same and performing the same gestures – deploys his painting skills in various, often stereotyped, spaces and landscapes. Trying to capture the ever-changing images, we never see the effect of his endeavors. Wojciech Gilewicz, a painter, photographer, and creator of installations and videos. Using paintings as a starting point, he creates diverse works that provoke reflection on the mechanisms and cultural determinants of perception. His works address such issues as the role of painting, the status of the artist, and art-making involved with institutions and the art market. His works have been displayed at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the Bunker of Art in Cracow, the Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, the Entropia Gallery in Wrocław, the BWA in Zielona Góra, the Flux Factory in New York, and the Kunadu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei.
AS TO POSTERITY Marina Gioti, GRâ€¨ video, 12:00
BALOON TRILOGY: NIRVANA Vanita Gupta,â€¨IN video, 00:49 A collection of visual evidence from Athens of the near future, devoid of humans. Its inhabitants have mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind a tableau mourant of reinforced concrete, metal and plastic debris, glorious marble, and the local flora and fauna. Part science-fiction, part an archaeological mystery, the work offers a picturesque expedition into the Greek ruins through an apposition of findings (architectural, cultural, forensic, environmental) that hint at past human activity. Marina Gioti, a filmmaker and visual artist. She studied Chemical Engineering, Environmental Management, Filmmaking, and Media and Communication in Greece, the UK and Belgium. Her videos and installations have been screened and exhibited worldwide both at international festivals, such as Toronto IFF, Transmediale, Jeonju, Cinematexas, Chicago Filmmakers, New York Underground Film Festival, and Les Rencontres Internationales, as well as at museums/ visual art platforms: Bozar in Brussels, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Anthology Film Archives in New York, Deste Foundation, and the Benaki Museum in Athens.
The work tests the tenacity, flexibility, and versatility of the balloon as a material. The artist juxtaposes solid concrete and a fragile, ephemeral rubber balloon. Vanita Gupta, studied Fine Arts at the L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai. In her works, she focuses on the minimal, most relevant and compelling forms. Known primarily for her signature paintings in black, her work continues to evolve towards sculpture and film. Gupta has participated in several group shows and held solo shows, among others, at the Pundole Art Gallery, the Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, as well as the Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi and Ahmedabad. She lives and works in Mumbai.
WRO ON TOUR
WITH OUTTHURST ARM Anna Hawkins, CA video, 4:58
THE PLASTIC GARDEN Yuk-Yiu Ip, HK video, 11:00
With Outthrust Arm uses tourist-shot footage of the famed sculpture from antiquity, Laocoön and His Sons, a canonical work of Western art history which is on permanent display in the Vatican Museums. By cobbling together these varied sources, the piece reconstructs the iconic sculpture based upon the accumulated experiences of the general public. This process of assembly and disassembly is deliberately apparent, left in an unpolished state. In so doing, the reconfiguring and revisioning of artworks, experience, and history are made visible and manifest. Anna Hawkins, a video artist. She graduated in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh and Concordia University in Montreal. In her works, she often employs genres and specimens from art history and current internet culture as a framework through which to sift, collect, and collage online-sourced and original images. She has exhibited her work as a part of the UCLA New Wight Biennial in Los Angeles, as well as at the AC institute in New York, and at InterAccess in Toronto.
By hacking and appropriating the popular video game Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010), the artist evokes dark imagery and symbolism of the nuclear drama. In comparison with the original game, the restaged scenes, though devoid of bloody shootouts, are equally, if not more, lethal and violent. Yuk-Yiu Ip, an experimental filmmaker, media artist, art educator and independent curator. His works, ranging from experimental films to live video performances and media installations, have been showcased extensively at international festivals, including EMAF, the New York Film Festival, the Image Festival, VideoBrasil, Transmediale and ISEA. Currently, he is Associate Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, where his recent works explore real-time and computational forms of cinema.
LUCHA LIBRE SOCIAL NETWALKS
Julia Kurek, PL video-performance, 14:46
Ralph Kistler, DE video, 7:39
The image in the video is the result of an algorithm that organizes people into groups according to certain characteristics they share. A town square, which is full of people, is filmed from the bird’s eye view, and then analysed and edited in order to organise the individuals in defined groups under specific characteristics. The work is a variation on manipulation that our perception is subject to. Ralph Kistler, works as a freelance artist in Munich. His art installations combine sculpture, video, electronics, interactivity, and kinetic objects. He has participated in international exhibitions and festivals, such as the Piksel Festival in Bergen, Transmediale in Berlin, the Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, and the FILE Festival in Sao Paulo.
Lucha Libre, or “free fights,” notorious for their lack of regulations and violence inflicted upon the luchadores, or fighters, are part of Mexico’s cultural identity. After Mexico’s new president took the oath of office, security barriers were set in front of the palace, for the new authority feared to be attacked by people prejudiced against the new government. The performance took place the day after the kidnapping of 43 students who had demonstrated against the education reform (on September 26th, 2014). Two weeks later their burned bodies were found in a mass grave. Julia Kurek, a visual artist, performer, creator of videos and installations. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk in 2009. In 2012, she completed her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She has participated in more than 100 exhibitions, festivals, and workshops.
WRO ON TOUR
WRO 2015 AWARD (ex aequo)
MISTRESS / KOCHANKA Agata Kus, PL multi-screen video installation / WRO 2015 documentation An installation composed of blurred images reconstructed from the original photographs owned by the mistress of the Cracow concentration camp commander. The artist dresses up as Ruth. She recreates images, producing an anxious and peculiar history of a woman who tried to lead a carefree life at the side of a murderer amidst hell. Agata Kus, a graduate of and currently a doctoral student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She works with painting, drawing, performance, and video. She has received many awards and scholarships. Her works have been shown at several exhibitions and festivals in Poland and abroad, including the Distinctive Features exhibition at the WRO Art Center / Renoma DS, MOCAK in Cracow, the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wrocław, Atelier Richelieu in Paris, the Zderzak Gallery in Cracow and the Sandhofer Galerie in Salzburg. Mistress, installation at the Wrocław University Library
REIGN OF SILENCE
Agata Kus, PL video, 2:27
Lukas Marxt, AT video, 7:20 presentation supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum, Warsaw
The video was shot on the Polish-German border. It was inspired by the images of girls from the German National-Socialist Faith and Beauty Society, whose main engagement was to keep themselves in good shape and develop perfect domestic skills. It refers to obsessive body care and aspiration to meet the unrealistic body standards set by patriarchal mass culture – a predicament so common to modern women. Agata Kus, a graduate of and currently a doctoral student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She works with painting, drawing, performance, and video. She has received many awards and scholarships. Her works have been shown at several exhibitions and festivals in Poland and abroad, including the Distinctive Features exhibition at the WRO Art Center / Renoma DS, MOCAK in Cracow, the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wrocław, Atelier Richelieu in Paris, the Zderzak Gallery in Cracow and the Sandhofer Galerie in Salzburg.
The work records human intervention in nature. In a reduced setting, the artist plays with the fascinating idea of an autonomous nature revealed by his aesthetic action; with the constantly changing relationship between humankind, the environment, and water; and with the processes of temporality and perception. The work conceptually draws on land art as well as on Robert Smithson’s iconic Spiral Jetty. Lukas Marxt, studied Geography, Industrial Design, and Media Art in Graz, Linz, Lisbon, Leipzig, and Cologne. Since 2007, his video works and installations have been presented internationally in several solo and group exhibitions, and media art and film festivals. He is the recipient of several scholarships and awards. He lives and works between Cologne, Leipzig, and Graz. His works are in the distribution of sixpackfilm.
WRO ON TOUR
Quartet for Tomatoes, installation at the WRO Art Center
QUARTET FOR TOMATOES Maciej Markowski, PL generative sound composition / WRO 2015 documentation A musical composition with the score provided by plant growth. Tending daily to a plant’s vegetation cycle, watering it, and controlling air temperature and humidity, one influences the sonic environment produced by it. The three-month cultivation period at the WRO 2015 Biennale was also the duration of the composition played in real time via the speakers hidden in the plants. Maciej Markowski, a musician and programmer. He studied Mathematics at the University of Wrocław and completed secondary music school in Wrocław. He co-founded the Small Instruments, a band with which he recorded the LP album Antonisz and worked on many music projects, including the award-winning performance Powerhouse of Sound at the 29th Review of
Stage Songs in Wrocław. He plays in Kariera, a band with which he has recorded two albums: The City and Lullabies; with four other amateur musicians, he is part of the ironic, experimental pseudo-sea shanties band Shantharion. He produces video-clips and designs multimedia installations. He has collaborated with several Wrocław-based institutions, such as the Contemporary Museum, the WRO Art Center, and the Capitol Musical Theater, as well as with the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. Production: WRO Art Center Cooperation: Marcin Ożóg and Rafał Sumisławski
ACTORS Justyna Misiuk, PL four-channel video installation / WRO 2015 documentation
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER / ÄKKIÄ VIIME KESÄNAA Juha Mäki-Jussila. FI video, 4:21
Actors, installation at the WRO Art Center
The installation presents portraits of men and women of different ages. Each character delivers a monologue which is an individual interpretation of authentic words uttered by a successful, middle-aged mother and businesswoman. The figures filter the text through their own experiences. Resorting to repetition and reproduction, they reflect on fulfillment of social roles and entanglement in the media-created patterns, the performance of which often exceeds personal capabilities. Justyna Misiuk, a graduate of the Department of Intermedia, University of Arts in Poznań; a student of Direction at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw. Her works address the relations of humans and nature. Her works have been shown, among others, at the WRO Art Center, Kunsthal in Aarhus, the Soimii Patriei Gallery in Cluj-Napoca, the Kordegarda Gallery in Warsaw, the Aula Gallery in Brno, the Kabelvåg Gallery in Norway, and the BWA in Zielona Góra, as well as at the WRO Media Art Biennale (2011, 2013, 2015), the Theater Festival in Sibiu, and the Miden Video Art Festival in Kalamata.
An experimental animation, shot in the artist’s garden, based loosely on the play of the same title by Tennessee Williams. Some episodes of the original play are restaged frame by frame by new botanical performers. The film’s visual influence was provided by German photographer Karl Blossfeldt’s close-up photographs of plants, published in 1929 as Urformen der Kunst. Juha Mäki-Jussila, works with video and short film combined with sculptural oddities. He uses various techniques in order to examine and reflect on human behavior. In his artistic practice, he extensively refers to cinematic history. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (1997), and has since participated in exhibitions and video festivals in Finland and abroad. He lives and works in Karkkila. His works are in the distribution of AV-arkki.
WRO ON TOUR
YAMADATAROPROJECT Katsuki Nogami, JP participatory performance in public spaces / WRO 2015 documentation presentation supported by the EU-Japan Fest Committee
YamadaTaroProject, performance at the National Museum, Wrocław
YamadaTaroProject, performance at the Renoma Department Store
Three performers wearing iPads on their faces use them to take pictures of passers-by and display them on their screens. The photographed people give their “faces” to the performers, who replace them as soon as they take another photograph of someone else’s face. The iPad is an icon of the Internet, a communication space in which we can appear and express ourselves anonymously. Yamada Taro is a Japanese John Smith, the most popular and, at the same time, the most anonymous name.
Katsuki Nogami, a student of the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, he also studied at Olafur Eliasson’s Institut für Raumexperimente in Berlin. He has performed at the FILE festival in Sao Paulo and the Sapporo International Art Festival. He has been shortlisted for several awards, including the Yahoo!JAPAN Internet Creative Award. In 2015, his YamadaTaroProject won the Campus Genius Award, a Japanese prize for art students.
SCAPEGOAT Eden Auerbach Ofrat, IL video, 3:10
DRINK SKY ON RABBIT’S FIELD (LOST CONTROL) Arnont Nongyao, TH video, 6:55 The Judean Desert, a historic site for the releasing of the scapegoat. A white-clad figure with a goat’s head sprays red paint all over the empty, monochromatic space around. The bizarre quality and dark symbolism of the scene evoke both the animal and the potency of the ritual. An experimental video, shot at the artist’s studio, presenting variations on the motif of the circle, a form ubiquitous in our surroundings. Arnont Nongyao, a multidisciplinary artist with a special interest in experimental film and sound art, designer of instruments, and performer. His works have been widely screened at festivals across Asia and the United States.
Eden Auerbach Ofrat, studied at the Tel Aviv University, the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, and Goldsmith’s in London. She is the recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship and winner of the Young Artist Excellence Prize. Her works have been exhibited, among others, at the Israel Museum and the Seam Museum in Jerusalem as well as at the Noga Contemporary Art Gallery in Tel Aviv.
WRO ON TOUR
DIY (Destroy It Yourself), installation at the Wrocław University Library
DIY (DESTROY IT YOURSELF) Maciej Olszewski, PL video series forming a thematic channel + a set of objects The project refers to the canonical formula of the DIY (Do It Yourself) participatory culture. Imitating the instructional video poetics, the film sequence forms a thematic channel on YouTube. The series is inspired by the military tutorials posted on the internet by the militaria and DIY enthusiasts of all ages.
Maciej Olszewski, graduated from the Department of Intermedia, University of Arts in Poznań. He creates videos and installations. He has taken part in several exhibitions, among others, in the Distinctive Features exhibition at the WRO Art Center / Renoma DS, the BWA Gallery in Zielona Góra, the Manhattan Gallery in Łódź, the Old ZOO in Poznań, the Mediations Biennale in Poznań, MOCAK in Cracow, the Hotel de Inmigrantes in Hannover, and the Empire Project Gallery in Istambul.
NATURE OF HELL / NATURA PIEKŁA Alexander Pawlik, PL video, 3:55
BENIGHTED Maria Ornaf, PL video, 7:00
The title of the video – “overtaken by night” – poetically renders the trap time sets for us, but it can also be construed as conveying a general sense of being taken by surprise by the inevitable. The work revisits childhood and the celebrated communion with nature inscribed in it, addressing it at the same time as the beginning of constraints set upon us and concomitant loneliness. It portrays a human struggling in the snares of time, in which perpetual change is interwoven with mantric recurrence. Maria Ornaf, a graduate of the Department of Intermedia, University of Arts in Poznań, scholarship holder of the Faculdade de Belas-Artes in Lisbon, award-winner at the Dolina Kreatywna competition and One Minute Film Festival. She works with video and experimental film. Her works have been shown internationally.
A found-footage work composed of 16mm educational science films. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, it sets to explore the structure of hell and the movement dynamics of human souls within it. The manipulated imagery of atoms, waves, and particles comes to represent souls interacting within the infernal confines. The old animations, deconstructed and re-assembled in editing, serve as illustrations of these processes. Alexander Pawlik, born in Chicago, lives in Warsaw; works with painting, installation, and various moving-image forms. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. His works are a species of science fiction. Engaged in constant lab-like experimentation, he tests the relationship between matter, space, and time in parallel micro- and macro-scales. He seeks to develop a visual concept of man in the universe. He was shortlisted, among others, for the Samsung Art Master. His works have been exhibited in Poland and abroad, including MOCAK in Cracow, the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk, and the Bochenska Gallery in Warsaw.
WRO ON TOUR
MODULATEURDEMULATEUR Bertrand Planes + Arnauld Colcomb, FR installation / WRO 2015 documentation project supported by Institut Français in Paris The installation is a system consisting of a transmitter and a receiver: a device that teleports an image of Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wrocław. First scanned, the image is then converted into sound data emitted into the exhibition venue. Subsequently, the receiver converts the sound back into a visual image, attempting the most accurate reproduction. In the process, the numerical data become tangible, but especially fragile and vulnerable to the surrounding noise. The reconstitution represents vestiges of the transition and traces of the audience’s interventions. Bertrand Planes, a visual artist and programmer collaborating with the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Grenoble Superior School of Arts. His works draw on technology and its uses in order to expose their sources and social consequences. In collaborative projects, he works on upgrading and streamlining existing technologies and devices. By staging his installation at unusual venues, such as the CNRS, the Automobile Show, the Citu laboratory (Paris 8), Emmaüs, and le Bon Marché, he seeks to expand the common understanding of artistic practice. Besides, he co-edits articles for scientific journals. His recent exhibitions have been held in Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen, Paris, Singapore, Curitiba, and Moscow.
Modulateur-Demodulateur installation at the Wrocław University Library
Arnauld Colcomb, studied at the Ecole d’architecture Paris Villemin in Paris, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, and the Universität der Künste in Berlin. His work engages with technology and architecture. His installations or sculptures stage volumes and simple mechanisms. He puts them in motion and distorts them, imbuing them with a hypnotic and, at the same time, burlesque quality. His works have been presented, among others, in Paris, Prague, Innsbruck, New Delhi, and Ouagadougou.
BIOPLASTIC FANTASTIC: BETWEEN PRODUCTS AND ORGANISMS Johanna Schmeer, DE video, 4:00
CONSCIOUSNESS SPIN PROJECT Shuai Cheng Pu, TW video, 5:39 presentation supported by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan
A delirious, poetic, and anti-narrative image of the artist’s state of mind. Shuai Cheng Pu, graduated from the Taipei National University of Arts. Based on his personal experiences, his works challenge the viewer to reconsider the inner world of individuality.
The video is inspired by a recent scientific breakthrough in the synthesis of functioning biological cells made from bioplastics. It speculates about the future domestic uses of bio- and nanotechnology. Seven “biological devices” (powered by artificial photosynthesis) produce all food and energy needed for humans to survive simply by being exposed to light. Johanna Schmeer, a designer and researcher based in London and Berlin. She holds a degree in Visual Communication from the Berlin University of the Arts, a Master’s degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art, and has worked in design research and interaction design. Her practice involves the creation of future narratives about the social, ethical, and cultural impact of new technologies on everyday life, described through designed objects and interactions. Another part of her work includes planning and running workshops and events, as an alternative or complementary way to engage an audience in future scenarios.
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TERRITORIES / TERYTORIA NAMEDROPPING
Maria Stożek, PL video, 5:27
Antje Seeger, DE video, 4:02
Unauthorized action. The exhibition program of the art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia is displayed on the front of the museum K20 in Düsseldorf. Only well-known artists’ names and their exhibition titles are written there in big letters. On July 2nd, 2014, the artist smuggled her name between all the celebrities, with Richter, Malevich, Calder, Eliasson, and Kippenberger among them. Antje Seeger, a conceptual artist. She graduated from the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. She works with all types of media, digital and analog. She lives and works in Dresden and Leipzig.
The video was shot in autumn 2013, as soon as the artist spotted the first frozen puddles of the season. When the temperature dropped below zero, she set off to Poland’s southern border to examine the thickness of the ice layer. Maria Stożek, a graduate of the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture, Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Wroclaw. Currently, a student in the Department of Intermedia, University of Arts in Poznań. She works with space, performance and video. She has taken part in many group exhibitions, among others, in the Distinctive Features exhibition at the WRO Art Center, and at the Geppert’s Apartment Gallery in Wroclaw, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Wrocław, the Raczej Gallery in Poznań, and the Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdańsk.
BALANCE FROM WITHIN Jacob Tonski, US installation / WRO 2015 documentation A 170-year-old sofa, found by the artist at the back of a shop, got disassembled. The artist put magnets into each piece so that the sofa could be easily folded and unfolded. Inside the sofa, he installed a mechanism usually used in satellites to improve their attitude control in space. The reaction wheel makes the sofa “balance from within” while standing on one leg. The project is driven by two unique technical and artistic goals: it creates a kinetic metaphor for the risk inherent in social relations and tests whether an object could actually be balanced perpetually on a fixed point.
Balance from Within installation at the Wrocław University Library
Jacob Tonski, b. 1977, holds an MFA from the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA. He also studied Computer Science at Brown University and worked as a Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. He is the recipient of an Ars Electronica 2014 Award of Distinction and a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant (2013). He is currently teaching at the Art and Technology Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His works have been exhibited in China, Brazil, and throughout Europe and the United States.
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5 ROBOTS NAMED PAUL (5RNP) Patrick Tresset, FR/UK robotic installation / WRO 2015 documentation
5 Robots Named Paul (5RNP), installation at the Wrocław University Library
Documentation made during the robots’ stay at the Biennale. On the opening days of the WRO 2015 (May 13th-17th, 2015), the robots drew dozens of portraits of the volunteer models. Each of the five robots named Paul has an in-built digital camera or webcam, through which they watch the models, like in a drawing class. The captured image is then transferred to the movement of the robot’s “hand.” Although all the robots are pre-programmed, each develops its individual drawing style. Patrick Tresset, an artist and scientist investigating human artistic activity, computational creativity and our relation
to machines, in particular our relations with robotic entities. Following a degree in Business Computing, he migrated to London to become a painter. In 2003, he lost his ability to paint and draw, and has since been working on computational and robotic systems that are able to simulate these artistic activities. He studied Arts Computing at Goldsmith’s, and also created the creative robotics course taught to postgraduate students as part of the MFA Computational Arts program. His robots are based on advanced technologies using research findings from robotics, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and cognitive computing.
MINIMAL VANDALISM Kay Walkowiak, AT video, 3:49 presentation supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum, Warsaw
UNFIT Touching art objects is usually not permitted in museums and galleries. Not so in Kay Walkowiak’s Minimal Vandalism, where this prohibition is literally stomped on. The setting – the Generali Foundation in Vienna – is the epitome of a modernist exhibition building, whose design of a neutral, white cube-like shell is meant to intervene as little as possible in the act of viewing art. After a brief exposition, an entirely unexpected performance unfolds... Kay Walkowiak, studied Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Vienna, Photography and Video Art at the Academy of fine Arts, Vienna, and Art & Communication and Sculpture & Multimedia Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He is the recipient of several grants and awards, such as the Theodor Körner Preis and Otto Prutscher award, Fred Adlmüller scholarship and artist-in-residence grants in Banff, Beijing, and Varanasi. He lives and works in Vienna. His works are in the distribution of sixpackfilm.
Timo Wright, FI video, 8:27
A spin-off video originally made for Anna Mustonen & Co’s Un fit dance performance and installation at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in 2012. It investigates the body-fabric relations and the proper-improper binary, interrogating what is fit and what is unfit. The immaterial body of fashion meets the burdened body that does not fit properly. Timo Wright, lives and works in Helsinki. Over the last six years, he has taken part in several group and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad. His works are in the distribution of AV-arkki.
Inconvenient Announcement, installation at the Entropia Gallery, Wrocław
INCONVENIENT ANNOUNCEMENT / NIEWYGODNY KOMUNIKAT Marcelo Zammenhoff, PL installation work commissioned by the National Center for Culture A multi-stream video installation in which the title announcement is read to the camera by several Polish voice-over artists well known from television and film, who usually remain hidden from the sight of the viewers. Marcelo Zammenhoff, a.k.a. Piotr Wygachiewicz, a video artist, photographer, performer, designer, and composer. A representative of Polish independent cinema and the experimental electro/
/synth-pop/noise scene. He co-founded several music groups (F.P.Z., Morris Generativ, Protoplazma, Górecki-500, E-1, Mikrowafle, and Throbbing Wafle), and film groups (PLAZMA TV). He has made numerous avant-garde TV shows, including Atlantis TV (TVP 2). He is the recipient of numerous film and music awards, e.g., for the remake of the first Polish feature film from 1907. He also builds light-mechanical electro-installations. He likes mountaineering and glacier climbing.
WRO 2009–2015 APPLICATION development: Bartosz Konieczny
AFTERBEFORE Joanna Zemanek, PL video, 3:00
The AfterBefore cycle is an attempt to determine the beginning and the end of unchanging and permanently established rituals of intimacy. Joanna Zemanek, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts. She is Assistant Professor at the Interdisciplinary Tapestry and Fiber Studio headed by Professor Lilla Kulka, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Design, Katowice School of Technology. She paints, draws, weaves, creates objects, installations and videos; recently, she has also engaged with curating.
WRO 2015 Résumé
The computer application allows open access to the WRO Biennale documentation from the years 2009-2015, including installations, performances, and other items, together with artists’ talks and statements. The application features a rich database of 150 video files and is being continuously expanded with new material.
WRO ON TOUR
EXHIBITIONS / SCREENINGS / MEETINGS WITH ARTISTS / WORKSHOPS / WRO COLLECTION / MEDIA LIBRARY / SUNDAY MATINÉES / PUBLICATIONS / WRO ATELIER / ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE / WRO BIENNALE The WRO Art Center is one of Europe’s leading arts institutions working at the intersection of contemporary arts, media, and communication. Our original exhibition, educational, research and publication programs are based on experimental art, and organization practices. Our latest shows include exhibitions of individual artists, such as Mirosław Bałka, Leszek Knaflewski, and Carolee Schneemann, and also theme-focused exhibitions: Interactive Playground, On the Silver Globe, and Cultivated Cultures, displayed subsequently in a number of international settings and venues.
WRO Art Center / Centrum Sztuki WRO Director: Violetta Kutlubasis-Krajewska Widok 7, 50-052 Wrocław, Poland +48 (71) 343 32 40 firstname.lastname@example.org wrocenter.pl
Our work culminates in Polish and international collaborative projects involving artists who use the creative potentials of new technologies to engage innovatively with image, sound, and perception, contributing to contemporary art and cultural reflection. The WRO Art Center, largely funded from the local budget and public resources, is an independent institution formally recognized by Polish law as a public benefit organization. Our annual programs are addressed to varied audiences with an interest in new languages of art.
Layout and typesetting: Bartosz Konieczny Texts: Barbara Kręgiel Coordination: Krzysztof Dobrowolski Photos: Daniel Filipek, Mirosław Emil Koch, Bartosz Konieczny, Zbigniew Kupisz, Marcin Maziej, Roland Okoń, Andrzej Rerak, Artur Szczepaniak Publisher: WRO Art Center, 2015 ISBN 978-83-929186-9-1
ECO-EXPANDED CITY opening events: May 13th-15th, 2016 within the program of the European Capital of Culture â€“ WrocĹ‚aw 2016
17th WRO Media Art Biennale opening events: May 17th-21st, 2017