Joanna Pawlik - IS IT REALLY SO UNWORKABLE? - part two

The exhibition opens on:
Friday, 3 February, 2017, at 6 pm.

Exhibition of videos by the Kraków-based artist Joanna Pawlik.

"The artist reflects on the issues of creation, disability and exclusion.
She touches upon invisible divisions in both art and society. (...)
The heroes and heroines of her films are creative individuals who may arouse bewilderment, embarrassment or discomfort. The artist confronts the viewer with a non-standard portrayal of the characters. She does this in order to reduce the gap between the able-bodied of the disabled, and ultimately to challenge the legitimacy of objectifying divisions. In her work, Pawlik emphasizes the subjective dimension of every human being. The individuals she invites to work with share their experiences, emotions and desires. Due to the limitations of their bodies, communication barriers and the continuous social exclusion, they encounter additional obstacles which prevent them from achieving their dreams and satisfy the need of intimacy, tenderness and love. Their goals are sometimes unattainable and utopian; they risk failure".


Agnieszka Żechowska, curator of the first part of the exhibition
Is This Really So Unworkable?
Galeria Supermarket Sztuki/ Wizytująca Galeria, Warsaw, 2016


Joanna Pawlik, Song


Joanna Pawlik's films feature a number of disabled participants of the Occupational Therapy Workshop run by the Artes Foundation in Kraków. They talk freely about their experiences and desires, and appear at ease in front of the camera, while chatting, singing or otherwise expressing emotions. The viewer has no choice but to focus entirely on the characters and the words they speak. The simple set and close-up face shots emphasize the importance of expression and sensuality of the characters.

The title of the exhibition, Is It Really So Unworkable - was borrowed from the lyrics of a song by Wiktor Okrój - one of the charges of the Artes Foundation. "It addresses the questions of whether it is possible for disabled artists to fulfil their plans, interests, dreams and emotional needs, and whether art can break down the social and mental barriers between the able-bodied and the disabled." - says Agnieszka Żechowska.

The exhibition in Galeria Bielska BWA features the following works by Joanna Pawlik: If I Ever Learn, Song, Conversation, Song About a Teacher, Hunky-Dory, and the recording of the concert by Wiktor Okrój Don't You Dare Write and the recital by Agata Wąsik I Lift The Lamp Towards the Golden Door.

The exhibition also shows two new and never-before-seen works by Joanna Pawlik: the film Words, Words and a video recording of the artist's performance in Wrocław.

"The film Words, Words was recorded on a smart-phone. Sign language, the specific "dance of hands" by a girl I met on a train, my fascination with gestures and their obscure meanings - all these led me to make this video. The film is an  clandestine recording of an exchange between the girl and her partner (beyond the camera frame) - a non-verbal conversation which cannot be eavesdropped. I wanted to establish some contact with the girl, but I felt too ill at ease to approach her, afraid of being unable to communicate in the inaccessible world of the deaf-mute", says Joanna Pawlik.

The second premiere film is a video recording of the performance by Joanna Pawlik in an abandoned building of the Institute of Pharmacy at the Medical University in Wrocław, which she made during the Art Review "Survival" in Wrocław in 2014. The artist manages to overcome her disabilities by climbing steps with her hands and the only foot.

Climbing stairs is the theme Joanna Pawlik has undertaken in several places. One of them is the coal mine ‘Murcki" in Katowice. You can also see a video recording of this performance, which will be shown in the lobby of Galeria Bielska BWA.

The presentation in Bielsko-Biała is the second instalment of the exhibition Is it Really So Unworkable? by Joanna Pawlik - a joint venture of Galeria Supermarket Sztuki and Wizytująca Galeria which was first shown in Warsaw in 2016.


Joanna Pawlik, Talk


Joanna Pawlik born in 1974, lives and works in Kraków. Degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. PhD student of the Faculty of Arts at the Pedagogical University in Kraków. Her artistic pursuits include painting, drawing, photography and video. The work of Joanna Pawlik oscillates between the themes of social  exclusion and personal spaces of experience. Numerous solo and group exhibitions including: Balance at Galeria Bunkier Sztuki, Medicine in Art at MOCAK (Kraków), Disabled To Normality, DOX Art Contemporary Center, Prague, Czech Republic, The Day is Too Short - a Few Autobiographical Stories at the Contemporary Museum in Wrocław.  In the recent years, she has been working with amateur artists amateurs, making joint projects: exhibitions, concerts / performances in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2016.

The exhibition runs from 3 February to 5 March 2017.

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