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WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE

Kuśmirowski Robert



Performer, creator of installations, structures, photography and drawings. From 1998 to 2003, he studied at the Art Department of the Institute of Fine Arts at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin.

He travelled on an academic scholarship in 2002-2003 to study at the Metals and Modelling Studio at the Rennes 2 University, Beaux-Arts, Rennes. In 2004 he was nominated for the Paszport Polityki honour. He lives in Lublin. Kuśmirowski is known as a “genius of the dummy”, an “ingenious imitator”, and a “counterfeiter and manipulator of reality”. Most of his works are based on the recreation of old objects, documents, photographs and situations that are bewilderingly authentic in appearance. In general, they have no defined original from which they are copied, and only allude to the material culture of a certain era. He said once that he recreates the sort of objects he wants to see. He says himself that, for him, childhood was “a time of chronic illnesses and battling with the resistance of my body to medicines of various types. A stay in the hospital gave birth to my general dislike for closed, isolated places filled with whiteness, and it confirmed my conviction that everything white and clean is soulless…” This experience was formative in his development and his creative work. It was his fascination with music, however, that pushed him to study at the Art Department of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. He wanted to learn to design the album covers for the music group that he had played with since 1989. He made his first efforts at reproduction before he began his studies. He came back to it after his third year, when at an exhibition organised in the corridor of his department he showed over a dozen small documents, from examination reports to receipts from the supermarket. While still at university in 2002 at the Biała Gallery in Lublin he reconstructed his memories of Polish National Railway stations, using exhibits from the workshop of Lublin’s railroad engineering school and the Narrow-Gauge Railroad Museum in Karczmiska, and “counterfeiting” railroad rolling stock including a full-scale railroad car. In 2003 he took part in the Cultural Territories #4 exhibition, organised by the Galerie fur Zeitgenoessische Kunst in Leipzig. He staged a trip from Paris through Luxembourg to Leipzig, slipping into the role of a cyclist living in the 1920s. In 2003 he produced a reconstruction of an artist’s studio (Double V) from the era of the Polish People’s Republic at the CSW Ujazdowski Gallery in Warsaw. On one side of the space, he set up ready and found objects, and on the other side projected a mirror image of the studio, making all of the objects by hand. In November of 2004, at the Potocka Gallery, the artist created an imitation of Józef Mucha’s photo studio, which had occupied the same space in the 1920s, and he proceeded to provide photographic services. He travelled on foot from Łódź to Paris, the documentation of which was presented in the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (2004). The crowning event of his year-long project The Ornaments of Anatomy was the exhibit / anatomical laboratory of the mad Doctor Vernier in Kustverain in Hamburg (2005). At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 he showed the Bunker – a mysterious and unsettling bunker from the World War II era in London’s the Barbican Centre Bunker. In his works Kuśmirowski displays the collection of his beloved objects; the amassed objects create a difficult to grasp assortment of items described by Joanna Mytkowska as the“Baroque of excess and entropy of details”, as shown in his Masyw kolekcjonerski [Collector’s Massif] exhibit (2009, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow). The artist calls on the memories, history, and nostalgia that accompany visual culture of the distant and not-so-distant past, which is gradually obscured by the layers of passing time. He evokes memories, but also disorients, as his does in Façade (2009, Blankenberge, Belgium), in which the carefully-tended townhouses of the seaside corridor were made over to appear to be forgotten, a derelict, squalid and decrepit building from a dark Polish alley. There is a strong overarching vanitas theme in his work. Re-creation becomes a manner of addressing the subject of ephemerality, the fleeting nature of life and the death of material culture.
Mock-up of the demolition project


Mock-up of the demolition project is a type of model that no one ever builds, as models are principally produced of things that are to be constructed, not of those which are to be torn down. A real building that is ready to be demolished – painted white, along with all of the elements and objects within, and with markings at the places where the wrecking ball is to strike, or where the demolition charges are to be placed – become a model of its own demolition. The deconstruction of the model drew along with it the deconstruction of the building itself – in this way the artist, alluding to his own previous work, Façade, which was carried out in Blankenberge in Flanders, Belgium in 2009, again poseed questions about the role of contemporary art in public spaces, its meaning and sense, and foremost, perhaps, about the fate of works produced in those spaces, as well as those destined for galleries or museums.


Project curators: Marek Goździewski, Marcin Gołębiewski



Artist's assistants: Michał Chudzicki, Szymon Maliborski


Pictures: Weronika Szmuc



Meeting with the artist

This meeting with the artist was dedicated to the presentation of a few selected pieces of his work including Façade, carried out in Blankenberge in Flanders, Belgium in 2009 as a part of the Art Triennale Beaufort ’03, during which the artist among the historic façades of the townhouses of a lovely seaside corridor created a façade of a building like that of the decrepit and neglected buildings on Olejna Street in Lublin, which led to a stormy debate about the role of contemporary art and its place and role in public spaces.


Meeting with the artist

Meeting combined with a walk ti the place of the installation Hypnos. The artist presented the majority of his works created for public space in the Republic of South Africa, Switzerland, Germany and other parts of Europe. He also had talked about his project, which realisation was to take place in September 2010.


11/06/2010 - 27/06/2010

Mock-up of the demolition project

25/06/2010

17:00 Meeting with the artist

25/06/2010

17:00 Meeting with the artist