28.10 – 26.11.2022

GREAT PATCH

Artists:
Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir
Sabina Kałuża
Magdalena Lazar
Karolina Mełnicka
Michał Smandek
Anna Sztwiertnia

Exhibition poster. Magdalena Lazar, Sabina Kałuża, Jacek Janas, Anna Sztwiertnia | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski

In the Pacific Ocean, between California and Hawaii, a large man-made island drifts – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This human contribution to „world geography” is a floating accumulation of waste on the surface of the Pacific. Although this is not entirely true. The island, or rather islands, was created by nature. Man provided only plastic, which the system of swirling ocean currents collected and trapped. Four currents rotating clockwise around an area of 20 million square kilometers: the California Current, the North Equatorial Current, the Kuroshio Current, and the North Pacific Current, have collected tiny fragments of plastic, like grains of sand and pebbles, that together look more like
soup than land that we imagine when we think of an island.

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Exhibition view. From left to right: Sabina Kaluża, "PBT", 2022 | Karolina Mełnicka, "Satan Petit-Cœur 2.0", 2022 | Linda Poninska, author of the fragrance | Michal Smandek, "Apparent Freedom (temporary city)", from the series Spirit of the Hive, 4 x hive body, lid, beeswax sculpture, 2020 | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

Although it is a no-man’s island, there are Sisyphus who try to clean it up, „to patch up”, i.e. to patch up the holes in the ecosystem or at least prevent them from spilling over the globe. However, microplastic is relentless and creeps into our lives every day, penetrating into living bodies. GREAT PATCH is an island where new ecosystems and hybrids are created by artists. The raw metal of the car hood adopts biomorphic shapes, the pieces of plexiglass drip with honey, and its slices form a cityscape full of skyscrapers. GREAT PATCH strives with every fiber to connect with nature. Can we still tell where is the border of this island?

/Weronika Ptak/

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Exhibition view. From left to right: Karolina Mełnicka, "They're Dancing the Mazur Again!", glass, 2022 | Michal Smandek, "Apparent Freedom (Temporary City)", detail | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski

Sabina Kałuża

Sabina Kałuża was born in 1996 in Cracow. She graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She draws her inspiration from the crashed and discarded car body elements, mainly used to create objects. Among other things, she uses car paints and other materials from the paint industry in her works. The realization of her artistic creation is exploring the boundaries of painting. For the artist, the form becomes the content of her work.

Detail. Sabina Kałuża, "PBT," 2022 | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski
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Exhibition view. Sabina Kałuża, "PBT," 2022 | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski

Magdalena Lazar

„Methods employed in the context of my work trace their pedigree to the art of the 1960s. I re-capture stylistics surrounding us on an everyday basis from 3D visualisation (e.g. developers’ paradise billboards, which usually are futile promises) or from food photography. Furthermore, I refer to the notion of post-growth. An aspect I consider essential in the context of post-growth is the possibility of sharing and multiplying goods outside of the regime of economic exploitation. I believe that a retarded future, retardation, can become the solution to crucial issues of global dimension. My presumption is that arriving at this point leads through an acceptance of solutions that are currently considered absurd.” Magdalena Lazar (1986) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin. In her work, she often refers to actual events that are difficult to believe in and questions rigid structures. Her work has been shown in many Polish and international exhibitions, including Bunkier Sztuki and Cricoteka in Krakow, BWA in Katowice, BWA in Tarnów, MS2 in Łódź, Temporary Gallery in Cologne (D), Centrala Gallery in Birmingham (UK), MeetFactory in Prague (CZ), Chongqing Dimensions Art Centre (DAC) in China, Album Arte in Rome and Institut für Alles Mögliche in Berlin. She expands her artistic activities with curatorial practices.

Magdalena Lazar Broad Daylight All Night 2019
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Exhibition view. From left to right: Magdalena Lazar, "Broad Daylight All Night," 2019 | Sabina Kaluża, "PBT," 2022 | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

Magdalena Lazar (1986) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin. In her work, she often refers to actual events that are difficult to believe in and questions rigid structures. Her work has been shown in many Polish and international exhibitions, including Bunkier Sztuki and Cricoteka in Krakow, BWA in Katowice, BWA in Tarnów, MS2 in Łódź, Temporary Gallery in Cologne (D), Centrala Gallery in Birmingham (UK), MeetFactory in Prague (CZ), Chongqing Dimensions Art Centre (DAC) in China, Album Arte in Rome and Institut für Alles Mögliche in Berlin. She expands her artistic activities with curatorial practices.

Karolina Mełnicka

Karolina Mełnicka was born in 1988 in Toruń. She graduated in cultural studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (2010) and multimedia from the Academy of Art in Szczecin (2016). Her artistic explorations can be described as critical conceptual art, investigating the mechanisms of top-down planned reality. She is particularly interested in observing methods of designing spaces or ideas for the mass audience. She works in a variety of media. She has been organizing events combining visual arts and music for several years under Mazury Club. She lives and works in Warsaw.

Exhibition view. Karolina Mełnicka, "Satan Petit-Cœur 2.0," 2022, detail | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski
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Exhibition view. Karolina Mełnicka, "Satan Petit-Cœur 2.0," 2022, detail | Photo: Szymon Sokołowski

Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir

Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir works on the borderline between contemporary visual art and film. She was born and raised in Reykjavik. She has been living and working in Berlin for 15 years, while in Iceland keeps one foot permanently on the ground. While her work is universal in nature, it is always rooted in a deep personal perspective and experience while drawing influence from the artist’s North Arctic background as well as her interlocal way of life. Guðnadóttir’s projects are a long-term process based on immersive research, interdisciplinary collaboration and social engagement, where she traces the interconnectedness of current philosophical ideas, social systems and human perception of the environment. The projects manifest to the audience as poetic yet humorous, experimental and critical creative documentaries and large-scale mixed-media installations or more spontaneous singlechannel video, performance, interventions, sculptures and digital photography.

Exhibition view. Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir, "A Ghostnet," detail | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski
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Exhibition view. Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir, "A Ghostnet," detail | Sabina Kałuża, "PBT" | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

„(…) The artist Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir searched for and found the ghost net in Kollafjarðarnes, a fjord on theeastern side of Iceland’s West Fjords. The net was moved from Strandir to the main road with the help of three people from Worldwide Friends and Ragnar, a farmer from Heydalsá. Again and again they washed the ghost net in the water. After a night at the school Reykjaskoli, the net and the artist, Hulda and the ghost, drove towards Reykjavik, the washed net drying in the driving wind. Many hands helped the artist there to straighten and clean the ropes: the curator Helga Oskarsdótti, Eduardo from Venezuela and the art-loving Hekla. (…)

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Exhibition view. Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir, "A Ghostnet" | in the background: Magdalena Lazar, "Broad Daylight All Night" | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

A ghost net is a fishing net that has been lost or abandoned in the ocean. The nets floating and lying in the sea or found on coasts continue to function as uncontrolled traps for marine wildlife. Animals get caught and injured in the cords and lines. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) up to 25,000 nets sink each year in European waters alone. The nets are partially plastic and divide into small particles that do not dissolve but become part of the food chain as microplastics. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), ghost nets accounted for more than forty percent of the giant Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2018.

Exhibition view. Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir, "Buoy" | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

Hulda Rós Guðnadóttir works with the aesthetics of the harbor and those working there. The Ghost Net points not only to the impact of the fishing industry on the environment, but also to the effort and labor involved in transporting and cleaning (the net and the environment from the net) by the artist.”
/Leonie Hugendubel/

Michał Smandek

Michal Smandek deals with the interdependence of human activities and nature. He critically reflects on anthropocentrism and materialism and draws attention to environmental degradation. His practice is based on travel experiences. He invites and engages local communities in collaborative activities, makes spatial modifications to the landscape, and translates the relationships observed in nature into the language of art. His philosophy of moving with a backpack and tent determines his strategies and working methods, during which he blurs the boundaries between interference and „noticing,” that is, encountering a situation with a high art factor. He creates sculptures, installations, and photographs and initiates collective-performative actions. He works at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice and collaborates with Rodriguez Gallery.

Exhibition view. Michal Smandek, "Apparent freedom (temporary city)," detail and "New map of the world," beehive frame, beeswax, 2020 | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski.
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Exhibition view. Michal Smandek, "New map of the world," beehive frame, beeswax, 2020 | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

Anna Sztwiertnia

Anna Sztwiertnia (1993) works in installation, animation, and digital art. She studied Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and Intermedia at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal. In her works, she combines her interest in theories from the field of science and phenomena related to spirituality and its accompanying rituals. She lives and works in Cracow. Her works have been presented in many exhibitions, including Bunkier Sztuki, MTG and Aristoi in Krakow, Promotional Gallery, POLIN Museum and Together Pamoja Foundation in Warsaw, Silesian Museum in Katowice, Labyrinth Gallery in Lublin, Pireus Cultural Incubator in Poznan, Casa das Artes and De Liceiras 18 in Porto (PT), Museum of Engraving Arts (ES).

Detail, Anna Sztwiertnia, untitled, glass, wood, dust, 2022, detail | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski
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Exhibition view. Anna Sztwiertnia, untitled, glass, wood, dust, 2022 | Photo: Szymon Sokolowski

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