En route to the final degree show concept analyzed all the contexts around my work- economic migrations, politics, pop culture and tried to extract an essence of the problem, which in my opinion is ‘gold’.
Starting from the economic migration topic I noticed that the problem is often accompanied by unhealthy, fetischized consummerism. On last year’s group exhibition in Polish Association spaces I exhibited a piece called persisted- audio visual installation. The piece titled Persistence in its form resembled a traditional Polish folk shrine with accompanying two video pieces.
One of them was a video of my colleague licking see-through sheet of perspex.
the video played in a portrait format was places inside a blue shrine embellished with tinsel, ribbons and christmas lights.
(none of the exhibition photos survived)
the other video was a music video to a track Michael Kors, telling a story about a migrant girl spending life doing least ambitious jobs only to be able to afford a Michael Kors bag. The idea emerged from my research into Polish migrants’ youtube channels, where the vloggers where showing their latest purchases-luxurious cosmetics and bags- made for the money earned abroad in least respected jobs.
Through this humoristic visuals I intended to talk about some more serious problems- sentencing oneself to having no future prospects, giving up self-dignity for seeming luxuries, which at home were out of one’s reach. I quite like this sort of approach- talking about serious socio-political issues through banalities. Since, creating a whole new social group of cheap labourers having no real chances for assimilation and happiness is in my opinion a very serious problem.
I decided to continue this thread, and work on the topic of consumerism- obsession with cheap counterfeit of luxury, visible signs of prosperity.
I eventually started to see something very occult, satanic in pop culture centered around object and money. That’s why my more recent work started to have more wicked, bdsm and occult aesthetic.
This semester I did some more research into biblical allegories- especially these treating about gold and wealth- the one about Job and the other about a golden calf.
My first degree show idea was to shoot a film about a contemporary Job, which haunted by multiple misfortunes turns into even more ardent religiousness- but for now I am putting this idea on the side.
I decided to focus on the story of Moses and golden calf. There is no point of telling this story here now but I think this reference can illustrate my observations very well- humanity worshiping a perverse idol (gold).
To visualise the above, I made a video of bdsm tele-shaman, which will be placed in a black sound sculpture. The aesthetics and form of the video was inspired by late-night fortune-teller tv shows, where the watchers troubled by various problems can phone and hear whatever they want as long as they stay on the line long enough. On the other side there is a narcissist shaman immersed in his own sensuality. The video is complimented by luring yet uncanny sound-piece of chants and low frequency bass.
Despite my sincere willingness to get more involved in sound art I’ve always had problems with engaging with it. Mostly because great majority of it is conceptual- it focuses on technological side of sound or soundscapes. Researching this genre, I discovered that I usually have no patience to listen to the majority of known to me sound pieces.
However, few years ago while researching Wilhelm Sasnal’s (polish painter) I found a very interesting clip on YouTube:
This post-punk/ new romantic style track was something I wouldn’t expect from one of the most acknowledged Polish painters. I fell absolutely in love with its atmosphere and spontaneity strengthened with clear in form video. I realised, that there shouldn’t be anything stopping me from incorporating music in my practice.
I quickly discovered that this take on sound art is a great way of developing the lyrical side of my work. That’s how I started to ‘test’ music.
Zloto has been created in a process of exploring new ways of artistic expression. It is also derived from my unfulfilled dreams of becoming a punk queen one day.
The project consists of a sound layer based on low-tech synth melodies and text.
Conceptually the project is centred around topics of everyday. I am particularly interested in simple stories of politics meeting everyday life; derived from my own experience as well as from observations of people around me.
The vast majority of my research is focused on the dark social issues as racism, inequalities and hatred. This interest derives from my observations of various groups- fellow migrants, family and friends here and at home as well as observations of wider public debates in particular European countries- Poland, the UK and Germany. Although reasons of such inter-group hatred are more or less known to everyone, I found it very interesting to dig into the subject a bit more through sociological reading and exploring right wing youtube channels and websites. The latter especially gave me the wider image of interfusing historical and cultural contexts.
Revenge of emancipation- nationalism, refugees and Muslims. Tomasz Nowicki- ed.
Moreover, I found this research particularly important since in the age of today’s post politics it is very important to understand the mechanisms behind populist trends and to make wise political choices and as an artist to skillfully undermine and question various trends and systems- (Chantal Mouffe and her definition of critical art).
On one hand I think that commenting on politics and social topics is one of the artists’ responsibilities but on the other, talking about politics without exaltation and condescension. In my opinion, social issues need simplified, accessible form and message. It needs to be condensed to absolute essence.
Basing on the research, I found that the most scary thing in my opinion is the fact, that various extreme groups treat politics and ideology deadly serious; people are often unaware or overlook the fact that the discourse based on hate and sense of distinctiveness are used as simple marketing strategies gauged to lure as many supporters as possible. In the end, politics is often treated as a calculable business. It is particularly visible in anti-elitism trend (Brexit, Trump election), where finally, the less educated groups from margins of social debate have the voice to speak. Moreover, they are encouraged to verbalise their most extreme opinions, rejecting the old political establishment and political correctness. As a result, we ended up in a very polarized society with various groups inclined against each other. And it is not only the case of more troubled parts of Europe but also so called Western world.
This concept of being lured into the world of extreme judgements, hatred used as purely consumer pleasure- You are worth expressing your darkest opinions, your opinions are important to us- accompanied creating an audio video piece titled amnesia.
My aim was to create an ambiguous piece, which would be at first glance look and sound attractive- video and a lightbox in saturated red and synth tune with high pitched female voice addressing the viewer per baby. In fact, the text is about the dark moment of humankind history which were led to by hatred. The dancer in the video turned out to be dancing in a wicked svastika dance resembling historical danse macabre.
Since I got interested into more vintage, kitschy aesthetics referring to hauntology and nostalgia I started to try some more analogue technologies. In first semester I took a dv tape camcorder from the loan store and ever since fell in love in rectangular pixels and tape distortion.
tape- 60 mins long— dv deck in Garthdee annexe— capture the footage in premiere pro— edit