Artist in resignation

22 Feb - 21 Mar 2008

Oskar Dawicki, Budget story
2007, DVD, 9'26"
Tamy Ben-Tor
Andrea Büttner
Oskar Dawicki
Joseph Marzolla & Tomas Lemarquis
Łukasz Skąpski
Julita Wójcik

Opening: Friday, 22nd of February, 6 - 9 p.m.
The exhibition will be open until 21.03.2008
Film screenings: Tuesdays through Saturdays, daily at 5.30 p.m.

"Artist in resignation" is a set of six video, the authors of which use the camera as a vehicle for journeying in search of "other" art. The starting point for this search is the feeling of resignation, discomfort, being weary with the language, infrastructure and everyday practice of professional contemporary art. Each day, full-time artists are forced to face a number of constraints: be they economic (lack of means for producing new projects), institutional (need to compete with other artists for the favor of curators, gallery workers and art critics) or artistic (confronting the ever-changing trends and ideas in art). However, the selected works do not focus on the theme of institutional critique, highly popular in contemporary art. On the one hand, the films, with a necessary sense of humor, expose the routine nature of the modernist language of contemporary art as well as organized structures of artistic life (such as popular "artist in residence" programs). On the other hand, they comment on the work of outsiders, non-professional artists, hobbyists and self-made constructors.
Arriving from the world of art, armed with a camera, the authors uncover surprising areas of creativity stemming from completely different sources and subject to other criteria than "our" art. For yet another time the work of naive artists, amateur fancy-work and constructions, once confronted with the over-ambitious world of professional art, turn out to be an attractive, or even surprisingly creative, alternative. At the same time, it is difficult to shake the feeling that this somewhat idyllic world of non-professional work is not a paradise lost, but a false mirror reflecting the rules which govern the artworld. Nuns organize a private view of an exhibition, closed to all outsiders, and experience complete artistic fulfillment in their very own world.
Thus, the artistic resignation featured in the title leads the art and the artists, both literally and metaphorically, astray: to a pasture, to the outskirts of a metropolis where art lives its big-city life. Pointing the camera eye to cow spots. An attempt at breaking with genre distinctions and universalistic codes of contemporary art. Film proves helpful in this task. The majority of featured works uses the conventions of a documentary. Accurately, without voiceover, they attempt at illustrating real or fictitious events. Such self-restraint and exchange of a complicated artistic workshop and production methods for the sake of "modest and simple" video recording is another sign of resignation. The "other" art seems to be taken out of power game, free of economic speculation, formal extravagance and need for universalism. Yet its effects and understanding seems to be limited to small and intimate societies. This, however, carries a basic and optimistic trait: as every society seems capable of creating its own art.

Tags: Tamy Ben-Tor, Andrea Büttner, Oskar Dawicki