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December 18, 2009 - February 15, 2010, Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk, Poland

Wyspa Institute of Art presents "The Periscope" - the first major solo exhibition of Joanna Rajkowska - the artist who during the last 7 years added a new dimension to definitions such as "objects in the public space" and "participation" and became a key figure of public art in Poland. When she was awarded the "Polityka Passport", Miroslaw Balka defined her as one who "sculpts in human minds". And indeed the Beuys' social sculpture becomes here a mental one. Each of Rajkowska's activities is an attempt to propel our understanding of things, situations, relations and narratives into new unexpected places. What is interesting is that she very often acts using objects, such as the palm tree in "Greeting from Jerusalem Avenue". But it is not an object which constitutes a project here. It is rather a change it triggers - a new perception, a change of language, peoples' sudden ability to come together, or a completely new discursive category. Rajkowska's art proves how much meaning is immanent to objects, how often these objects become "things", which, apart from the fact that they are what they are - a structure of matter, a form, a functionality - are also a relation, a sense of collectivity, a coming community. The title "Periscope" suggests that we are dealing with a kind of clandestine form of observation. This time Rajkowska, a tough observer, is looking at herself. The exhibition is an archive of her projects, documentation of actions, documents, side-effects and unrealized projects. There are biographical links unveiled and an insight into her shamanistic ability to internalize the complexity of the surrounding. The exhibition is supported by the City of Gdansk. Aneta Szyłak
Curator: Aneta Szylak
Curator's assistant: Maks Bochenek
Production: Rafał Żurek, Aga Szreder, Jan Szreder
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