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Mateusz Choróbski, Anna Orłowska, curator: Katarzyna Wąs

Mateusz Choróbski

An artist who, in his artistic expression, tests various ranges and scales – from short films to extended installations in art galleries or contextual activity in public space. He graduated from the University of Arts in Poznań. He studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and at interfaculty multimedia programme established by the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He exhibited his works, among others, during the SHORE TO SHORE video art biennale in Washington, at the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, MOCAK in Krakow, the Wrocław Contemporary Museum, the Bunkier Sztuki art gallery in Krakow, during the photography biennale in Poznań, at the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw, and the Łaźnia Centre of Contemporary Art in Gdańsk. Along with Anna Orłowska, he was an originator of BASEN exhibition. He has been nominated to the Curators’ Network. He has received scholarships form the Minister of National Education and the Marshal of Łódzkie province.

Anna Orłowska

Graduated from photography at the Film School in Łódź, she is a student the Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University in Opava. Her project, The day before, was selected for the reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today project was presented, among others, at the Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland, Aperture Foundation in New York and Rencontres d’Arles festival in France. She is the author of several individual exhibitions: Sweet Thing at PF gallery in Poznań, Wsiąkanie at Lookout Gallery in Warsaw, Przeciek at TIFF festival in Wrocław and International Festival of Photography in Łódź. She also participated in a number of group exhibitions, among others, at the Forward Thinking Museum, during Photography Month in Bratislava, at the Prague Photo Festival, at the Bunkier Sztuki Art Gallery in Krakow. She received scholarships from The Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the Marshall of Łódzkie Province. Her last project, Przeciek, was presented at Voies Off festival in Arles, won the Fotofever award in Brussels and Photo Global Prize – a yearlong scholarship at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Katarzyna Wąs
Art historian, curator. She graduated from art history at Jagiellonian University and two postgraduate programmes, in gender studies and cultural diplomacy. She cooperates with artists on the organisation of exhibitions and addresses the problem of the place of contemporary art within historical and artistic tradition. She works at the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow as a coordinator and editor of the MOCAK Forum magazine.

Blackground – a project by Anna Orłowska and Mateusz Choróbski – was ultimately designed for the Bednarski Park. This park was established in a place where a quarry was once situated. Rock extracted from one of the hills in Podgórze was used as a building material for the construction of the Krakow defensive walls on the opposite bank of the river. The rift in the slope thus reflected the development of the city. The adverse weather and worldview-related differences that were paradoxically more difficult to overcome forced us to change the place. Along with the change of the location, the context of the work changed. Blackground was transformed from the project combining two specific erosions (the artificial one – extraction of stone, and the real one – weathering and crumbling of rocks) that take place in the park into something like a ‘black hole’ known from animated cartoons, which opens a passage to a new dimension when projected onto any surface. Blackground evokes a feeling as if the world around is collapsing, just like the weathered sliding rocks. It is a dark spot among grass, strange to this place, standing out against the background. At the same time, it is a background itself for other events. The impression we have upon entering this dark, unsettling surface, of the balance being disturbed is gradually supplanted by curiosity and fascination and finally a feeling of comfort and relaxation. The oddness of the situation in which a person is taking tentative steps on a rickety ground provokes reflection on the fluidity of the experience. Achieving equilibrium, a feeling of being, somehow, neutral just like a stroller might have, may appear to be a great starting point for a discussion on the situation that surrounds us. Our loss of ground beneath our feet resulting from decision-makers’ unfavourable attitude has also turned into a positive reflection. It brought about the idea that Blackground should become a travelling space for negotiations, discussions and arguments leading to positive conclusions. Let Blackground not only be a black background, but also a neutral background where everyone has equal rights – 'unstable' rights.

24/06/2013 - 9/07/2013