23 June - 26 August

vernissage: 6 pm, Friday, 22 June

curator: Goschka Gawlik

"The phantom enigma, or how to discuss ghosts seriously" by Łukasz Białkowski in >>

About the exhibition and Siggi Hofer's stage on TV Bielsko >>

Galeria Bielska BWA will be featuring the exhibition Fantom which shows the latest works by the Austrian artist Siggi Hofer and Polish painter Marcin Maciejowski. The title of the exhibition alludes to Hofer's letter painting bearing the same title.
This is one of many text works to be shown at the exhibition in Bielsko-Biała.

The exhibition is an attempt to find out both artistic and linguistic similarities between the works of the two already recognised artists, and cultural and political differences, or even contradictions. The two artists met ten years ago in Vienna. Hofer came to the capital of Austria from South Tyrol, which like Galicia, was a part of the Habsburg Empire - the former until 1919, and the latter until 1918. Maciejowski, too, after a few years of underground activity in the Kraków-based  artistic circle Grupa Ładnie, began his international career with a solo exhibition in Vienna (2003) which greatly enhanced his future prospects for artistic development. Once called "Little Vienna", Bielsko-Biała may also become a platform for searching out other relations between the two artists, which are more deeply hidden in history.

By using the "sublime object" in the form of painting and text delivered in a number of formal variants, and by combining old and new systems of signs and national-cultural codes, the creative work of the two artists offers an extreme level of artificiality, as well as disturbing fictions, realisms, idealisms and materialisms - all of them phantoms of reality which refuse to succumb to an unambiguous presentation within the dominant mode of narration, but at the same time give coherence to the different yearnings of subjects. Whilst showing interrelations between imaginative and symbolic identifications, both Hofer and Maciejowski resort to phantasms which are inspired by childhood memories, topographies of places, history, ethics and politics. These, in turn become mixed with individual experiences, as well as with motives borrowed from the art world. However, in the process of secular pop-cultural erosion, these phantasms become trivial phantoms. Confronting the phantoms rooted in the cultural traditions of two opposite ends of the former Monarchy, the exhibition is a phantasmatic attempt to remerge those Realities which have been divided, replaced or reduced as a result of long historical processes.

One notable attraction of the Fantom exhibition is a three metre by three metre sculpture by Siggi Hofer called This Is Your Stage Baby  Best Siggi Hofer. The work doubles as an empty wooden stage that can be used by any viewer willing to make their own self-presentation, to become an actor/actress or a subject in the installation. The exhibition will be launched by a performance by Sven Sachsalber from London.

Siggi Hofer is an artist specializing in drawing, painting and performance, and poetry. He creates objects, drawings, letter paintings, videos and installations. He was born in 1970 in Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol, Italy). He lives and works in Vienna. In his art, which comprises a collection of various themes and materials, he often returns to his home region of Tyrol and childhood memories. Among the motives of his art are relationships between and analysis of different social and political processes, also in historical contexts. He poses questions about the rise and reconstruction of identity and individuality. His work refers to the aesthetics of rebellion and resistance of the last few decades while involving the audience in model situations.


Marcin Maciejowski is an artist specializing in painting, drawing, press illustrations, comic strips and murals. He was born in 1974 in Babice near Kraków. In 2010 he held a retrospective exhibition in the National Museum in Kraków entitled That's How It Is ; also in the same year he received the prestigious German Award Lovis Corinth Preis 2010. He lives and works in Kraków. His realistic post-pop-art painting is inspired by mass media narration, photography, books and the Internet. While making a selection of such appropriated pictures, he often refers to the canons of the history of art in an attempt to expose the occurring changes.


The exhibition will also feature an accompanying Polish-English catalogue.

Marcin Maciejowski, Why Do You Devote, 2012, oil, canvas,150 x 100 cm






















Siggi Hofer, Nobody, 2011, pastel, pencil, paper, 150 x 175 cm

For the visitors of Siggi Hofer & Marcin Maciejowski's "Fantom" exhibition at Bielska Gallery BWA, a free bus service between Krakow and Bielsko-Biała will be available on Friday 22nd of June 2012.
Departs 4:00 pm from the Tourist House (Dom Turysty), 15, Westerplatte St, Krakow.
Returns 11:00 pm the same day, from the square next to Bielska Gallery BWA, no.11, 3-Maja St, Bielsko-Biała,

Seats must be reserved (49 maximum) - reservation by e-mail:


Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko-Biała
23 June - 26 August 2012
vernissage: Friday, 22 June, 7.00 pm

Galeria Bielska BWA, 43-300 Bielsko-Biała, ul. 3 Maja 11
tel./fax 33 812 58 61, 33 812 41 19

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