Agnieszka Polska

The Garden
HD video, 11’07”, 2010, Polish (English subtitles)

In her works, Agnieszka Polska often refers to the mechanisms of memory, amnesia or repression, to forgotten stories and legends. She styles images to make them look as if from several decades ago, she fabricates visual materials.
The Garden is a portrait of a potentially existing garden, lasting for a dozen or so minutes. The narrator of the film is an artist (the figure bears a reference to Paweł Freisler, an artist active in the 1960s and 1970s in the neo-avant-garde circles, who left for Scandinavia in 1976 and disappeared from the Polish artistic scene, and currently he is thought to look after a garden in Sweden). Agnieszka Polska pays a hypothetical visit to the eponymous place. Using a para-scientific commentary (the voice from off-screen is identical to that from broadcasts on TV channels like Planete or National Geographic), she talks about disappearance, departure. Nature is metaphorical, it preserves its order, harmony and cyclical character.
We would like to draw your attention to the universal character of this story, which can also be matched to the history of Wrzeszcz Górny – once a charming resort, a place full of dense, even exotic flora, and marvellous gardens.
Wrzeszcz, just like the entire Free City of Danzig, is burdened with the history of many inhabitants who, at a certain moment in history, had to abandon their homes, places where they had been born, and start everything anew.

My Favourite Things
HD video, 6′, 2010, Polish (English subtitles)

My Favourite Things is a film from the triptych Three Films with Narration. In a characteristic way, Polska taps here into the documentary form. In the context of Narrations, this is the key to the reception of this work. The visual effect is amplified by the fact that the work is screened on a facade of an old burgher house, which echoes its former glory.
We are entering a dark alley of the yard to see a peculiar collection of objects floating at a lazy, sleepy pace. Objects taken from the world of art.
As she herself calls them – the favourites form a collection of props that are objects of reflection. In Polska’s work, it is about the reception and interpretation of art, the lack of understanding, and contradictory analyses. It is about the influence of the past and the future on every work.
In NARRACJE, we want to evoke the idea of the cabinet of curiosities / Wunderkammer, a collection of peculiar objects which could be stored in residences and manor houses in the vicinity; objects that often referred to alchemy or magic. Collections that combined science, legend and art. Collections that escaped a single possible interpretation.

Agnieszka Polska (b. 1985), lives and works in Warsaw.
Agnieszka Polska deals with films, animations and photographs. She uses archival sources or fabricated visual materials. She often styles images to make them look as if from several decades ago. A frequent theme of her works is art history – especially of the 1960s and 1970s – its myths, legends that are difficult to verify, as well as the mechanisms of memory, amnesia and repression in the systems of building artistic canons.
Her video works often refer to forgotten artists (like Włodzimierz Borowski or Paweł Freisler), but also to the key figures of the 20th century art – Wolf Vostell, Robert Smithson, Robert Morris, etc. In her projects she often describes the inevitable process of deforming artistic language and transformations of the sense of works that occur in the course of time.
Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (studios of Agata Pankiewicz and Grzegorz Sztwiertnia) and Universitaet der Künste Berlin (Hito Steyerl’s class). In 2012, nominated for the prestigious award Future Generation Prize. During the last two years, her individual shows were presented in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Kiev, and Warsaw.