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back5/09– 4/10/2009

Location: Ludwik Grohman Villa, 9/11 Tylna Str.

Anabasis. Rituals of Homecoming

opening: 5 September at 5.00 p.m. till 6.00 a.m.
exhibition open at 12.00 to 8.00 p.m.
[entry: 10 zł; Mondays: free entry]

Ludwik Grohman Villa, ul. Tylna 9/11
Book Art Museum, ul. Tymienieckiego 24
production: Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures

artists: Lida Abdul, Helena Almeida, Mieke Bal, Yael Bartana, Rita Sobral Campos, Jonas Dahlberg, Edith Dekyndt, Elmgreen & Dragset, Famed, Jarosław Fliciński, Kasia Fudakowski, Lothar Hempel, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Marine Hugonnier, Danilczyk & Krakowska, Susanne Kriemann, Agnieszka Kurant, Sharon Lockhart, Ernesto Neto, Adrian Paci, Mai-Thu Perret, Agnieszka Polska, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Mathilde Rosier, Esther Stocker, Dieter Roelstraete, Andriej Tarkowski

Homecoming is a universal theme, as much as the main motive of this year's edition of the festival - territory. The constant flow of time that takes on a form of history may be perceived as an accumulation of returns and recollections, where the memory operates as a vehicle between the past and the present. Territory and homecoming are both concerned with a sense of belonging. Space (territory) and place (home) are marked by a profound feeling of longing (nostalgia and melancholia). Both are sites of inner conflict too. The exhibition Anabasis. Rituals of Homecoming considers various dimensions of homecoming – between intimacy and public exposure, interiority and a monument, personal and collective mythologies.

All invited to this exhibition artists perform a tension that on the one hand alludes to the inner voyage of Andrey Tarkovsky's Mirror (a fetishisation of home and necessity of inner exile) and on the other, it echoes an ironic and decadent study of nostalgia and the subject's deconstruction in Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mepris with its ironic reenactment of Odyssey as yet another potentiality and symbolic of the archetypal theme of homecoming. As a collection of rituals, this exhibition is an exercise in distancing and proximity, on the way to delineate a psychological space of estrangement and familiarity. Some of the artists conceived projects that directly respond to the city of Łódź, the location and the exhibition's theme.

Anabasis. Rituals of Homecoming is located in charming interiors of the late 19th century villa of the German industrialist, Ludwig Grohmann, one of Łódź's first luxury residencies that proved a high economic prosperity of the city around the turn of the centuries. Designed in1889 by Hilary Majewski, its architecture alludes to Italian Renaissance. A special part of the exhibition, including a unique collection of Andrey Tarkovsky's polaroids (Instant Light), has been staged in the nearby villa of Henryk Grohmann (built in 1892), with eclectic interiors, refering, amongst others, to  Viennese Secession, most likely partially designed by Otto Wagner. It is now home of the Book Art Museum, housing an exceptional collection of art books, owned by Jadwiga and Janusz Tryzno, and a unique workshop with old printing machines.(Adam Budak)

Lida Abdul
– (b. 1973) comes from Kabul. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, she left for Germany and India, and is presently affiliated once more with her native city. She works in various media – she takes photographs and makes videos, installations and performances. Abdul has won the Prince Claus Fund Award and has received a scholarship from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She has taken part in a range of collective exhibitions, and her work has been shown at the biennials in Venice (2005), São Paulo (2006), Moscow (2007) and Istanbul (2007).

Helena Almeida
– (b. 1934) comes from Lisbon, where she lives and works to this day. She is one of Portugal’s most interesting contemporary artists. She often makes women the main figures in her photographs and pictures. She has made a famous series of self-portraits called Inhabited Paintings and Inhabited Drawings. An important aspect in Almeida’s work is the relationship between space and the body, between interior and exterior. Her works have been exhibited in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and New York. 

Mieke Bal
– (b. 1946) one of today’s most outstanding theorists and critics of culture. As a pedagogue, she is involved with the University of Amsterdam, and she is a visiting lecturer at several universities and cultural institutions around the world. She has authored around thirty books in the fields of history of art, semiotics and theory of literature. The exhibition Anabasis. On Rituals of Homecoming will show one of Bal’s lesser-known activities in filmmaking.

Yael Bartana
– (b. 1970) is an Israeli artist who takes photographs and makes video and sound installations. Her work deals with war reports, military rituals and social life. Her work has been shown at numerous solo exhibitions, including at Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and Fridericianum in Kassel, and collective ones including: Manifesta 4 in Frankfurt (2002), the 27th Biennial in São Paulo (2006) and Documenta 12 in Kassel (2007). She lives and works in Israel and Holland.

Rita Sobral Campos
– (b. 1982) comes from Lisbon, but lives and works in New York. She has graduated from the New York School of Visual Arts and ArCo in Lisbon. She has presented her work in a wide range of collective projects and solo exhibitions in Portugal and Spain. Her sculpture project will premiere in Poland during the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival.

Jonas Dahlberg
– (b. 1970) is a Swedish video artist. He studied art history at Gothenburg University and Architecture at the Technical University in Lund. He received his arts education at the Arts Academy in Malmö. He has shown his works in collective projects all around the world, including New York, Sienna, Taipei, Prague and Madrid. He took part in the 50th Biennial in Venice (2003) and Manifesta 4. in Frankfurt (2002). His work deals with the experience of space and architecture.

Edith Dekyndt
–  (b. 1960) is a Belgian artist investigating methods of perception and phenomena on the verge of the invisible. She has many solo and collective exhibitions to her credit. Her works have been displayed at such institutions as Witte de With, and in the framework of the Venice Biennial. She chiefly creates installations, video art and photography.

Elmgreen & Dragset
– Berlin duo active since 1995. Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961) comes from Denmark, Ingar Dragset (b. 1969) from Norway. Their works have been shown as part of numerous collective and individual exhibitions around the world – from New York to London and Tokyo. The duo also curated the demonstration at the Danish and Nordic Pavilion during the last Biennial Exhibition in Venice (2009).

– artistic collective formed in 2003 by Sebastian M. Kretzshmar, Kilian Schellbach and Jan Thomaneck. Their output is characterised by site-specific interventions, which can be perceived as quasi-theatrically arranged anti-architectural hybrids of installation, sculpture, performance, objects and video.

Jarosław Fliciński
– (b. 1963) lives and works in Warsaw and in his hometown, Gdańsk. He is a graduate of the Architecture Department of the Gdańsk Technical Academy and the Painting Department of the same city’s State Visual Arts Academy. He has won the ArtsLink Foundation Award (2002), and has received scholarships from prestigious institutions in Europe and the USA. His painting uses spare, abstract forms. The artist also takes photographs and makes video films.

Kasia Fudakowski
– (b. 1985) is a sculptress. She comes from London. Since 2006 she has lived and worked in Berlin. She is a graduate of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts at Oxford University. In 2003 she received the Stephen Farthing Anatomy Award, and in 2004 the Mitzi Cunliffe Prize. Her work has been shown at numerous collective and solo exhibitions: Gleaning the Gloss (Berlin, 2009), Daytime Drama (Krakow, 2008), and Sculpture (Oxford, 2005).

Lothar Hempel
– (b. 1966) comes from Köln, where he lives and works to this day. He graduated from the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. He has participated in collective exhibits organized by the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the Saatchi Gallery in London and Tate Liverpool. He has also done a number of solo projects. His works are found in the collections of high-ranking institutions in France, Italy and Germany. The artist is affiliated with New York’s Anton Kern Gallery, among others.

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler
– are an artistic duo active since 1990. Their output includes photography, sculpture and videos. Teresa Hubbard comes from Australia, and Alexander Birchler from Switzerland. They began working together at an arts residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Then both graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. They have had solo exhibitions at K21 in Düsseldorf, the Miami Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in New York. They have also taken part in a range of collective exhibitions all over the world. Their works experiment with traditional film materials to explore the relationships between the construction of time and space.

Marine Hugonnier
– (b. 1969) comes from Paris, where she graduated in anthropology and philosophy. She got her arts education at the Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Lille. She has had a few dozen individual exhibitions to date. In 2007 she took part in the 52nd  Biennial in Venice. Her works are found in numerous collections in Europe and the USA. Hugonnier is interested in the relationships between architecture, landscape, and history, and their means of representation. She lives and works in London.

Danilczyk & Krakowska
– are a duo that have been working together since 2002, making installations and video art. Leszek Danilczyk studied art history at the Jagiellonian University. He has been painting since the mid-90s. Dorota Krakowska is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She makes graphic art.

Susanne Kriemann
– (b. 1972) is a German artist who makes installations and videos and takes photographs. She graduated from the Akademie der Bildenen Künste in Stuttgart. From 1995-2007 she received scholarships in France and Holland, participating in a few residency programs. She has taken part in many collective and solo projects. Her works are found in numerous German and Dutch collections. The artist explores ways of representing reality and history subject to museum and archival processes. She lives and works in Rotterdam. She has invited Dieter Roelstraete – a critic, contemporary art museum curator in Antwerp (MuHKA), and editor of ‘Afterall’ magazine – to take part in the performance to be staged during the opening.

Agnieszka Kurant
– (b. 1978) comes from Łódź, but lives and works in Paris and in Warsaw.
She graduated from the Film School in Łódź, in art history from Łódź University, and in curator studies from Goldsmiths College at London University. In 2008 she received a Ministry of Culture scholarship. She has participated in collective projects in Poland and abroad, including Frieze Projects, which accompanied the famous Frieze Art Fair in London.

Sharon Lockhart
– (b. 1964) is an American artist, photographer and director. She lives and works in Los Angeles. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute and Art Center College of Design in Pasadeno (California), and has won numerous international scholarships and grants. She explores the relationships between film and photography. Animated and motionless images are her medium for documenting daily life. She has made the films Lunch Break (2008), Pine Flat (2006) and Goshogaoka (1998).

Ernesto Neto
– (b. 1964) is one of the leading artists on the Brazilian art. His work features biomorphic, large-format installations that offer the viewer a new experience of space. The artist has taken part in many collective exhibitions worldwide, from New York to Tokyo. He and Vik Muniz represented Brazil at the 49th Biennial in Venice (2001). His work can be found in numerous collections in Europe and the USA.

Adrian Paci
– (b. 1969) is an Albanian artist who comes from a family of artists. He studied at the Arts Academy in Tirana. In 1997 he moved to Italy, and currently lives in Milan. As a teacher, he is affiliated with the academies in Bergamo and Venice. In his pictures and video projects he deals with the problem of the immigrant’s status, and the identity of a person in a reality subject to political and symbolic transformation. In 2005 he participated in the 51st Biennial in Venice.

Mai-Thu Perret
– (b. 1976) comes from Geneva, and presently divides her time between her native city and New York. She studied English literature at Cambridge University. Her work draws from the heritage of modernism and the avant-garde arts movements. Her output mainly contains installations, drawings, videos, and book projects. Her solo exhibitions have been shown at Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005) and SF MOMA (2008), among others.

Agnieszka Polska
– (b. 1985) comes from Lublin, and presently lives and works in Berlin. She studied at UMCS in Lublin and the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She is continuing her arts education at the Universitat der Kunste in Berlin. She takes photographs, and makes videos and animation. She enjoys using found footage techniques, though her interventions into the found material are subtle and barely perceptible. She is affiliated with Żak-Branicka Gallery.

Pedro Cabrita Reis
– (b. 1956) comes from Lisbon, where he lives and works to this day. His art in the 80s had a decisive impact on the new face of sculpture. His works have been put on display at many international exhibitions, including Documenta X in Kassel, Aperto in 1995, and at the 24th Biennial in São Paulo. Moreover, in 2003 he represented Portugal at the 50th International Art Biennial in Venice. His installations are rooted in the issues of space, architecture and memory.

Mathilde Rosier
– (b. 1973) comes from Paris, where she originally studied economics at the Université Paris-Dauphine, and then took her arts education at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. She has participated in a range of collective exhibitions. Her works have also been shown at solo exhibitions in Paris, Karlsruhe and Barcelona, among other places. Rosier’s work is marked by an almost romantic fascination with nature and a commentary on the relationship it has with people.

Esther Stocker
– (b. 1974) comes from Italy, but is presently affiliated with Vienna. She mainly makes pictures, murals, installations and site-specific projects. She has studied at arts academies in Vienna, Milan and Pasadeno. Her work is marked by a narrative whose form and significance is complex, using the language of geometrical abstraction. She has a range of solo and collective exhibitions to her credit, in Europe and around the world – from Chicago, to Sydney and Tokyo.

Andrey Tarkovsky
– (1932-1986) was a Russian film and theater director, one of the most outstanding figures in the history of cinema. He first gained an education in various fields – including music and the visual arts. From 1956-1960 he studied at the Direction Department of the Moscow Film School (WGIK). His work is saturated with autobiographical and metaphysical strains, and a love of nature. While in the Soviet Union he made such films as Andrei Rublov, Solaris, Stalker and The Mirror. After departing for Italy in 1982, he also made Nostalgia and The Sacrifice.
curator: Adam Budak