opening: 16 January, 7:00 p.m.
Artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, William Anastasi, Mirosław Bałka, Geta Brătescu, Pierre Bismuth, Halina Chrostowska, Kate Davis, Tadeusz Kantor, Tim Knowles, Jarosław Kozłowski, Edward Krasiński, Marcin Maciejowski, Dora Maurer, Jerzy Nowosielski, Tony Orrico, Carol Rama, Bruno Schulz, Alina Szapocznikow
Artists in the performance programme: Aleksandra Borys, Jeremy Wade, Tony Orrico, Magdalena Ptasznik, Rodrigo Sobarzo oraz Anna Steller
Exhibition curator: Kasia Redzisz
Performance programme curator: Joanna Leśnierowska
For Each Gesture Another Character marks the opening of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk. It brings together for the first time the Foundation’s exhibition and performative programme. At the exhibition’s core are drawings from the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. A departure point for the selection of works was the relationship between gesture and drawing. The concept of the show reaches beyond the traditional definition of drawing as a composition of lines on a flat surface. Presented works on paper, objects, photographs and films derive their meanings from complex relations between the act of drawing and the body. Lines on surfaces and in space become traces of gestures, a record of movements, a means of registering physical states. Selected works by eighteen international artists reveal the performative nature of the medium, and the role of a script and chance in the creative process.
For Geta Brătescu and Jarosław Kozłowski drawing is a physical, almost theatrical act extended in time. A process as important as the finished work. Consisting of enamel paint poured onto the walls, historical works by William Anastasi (Untitled, 1966) recreated for this exhibition are an experimental attempt to transgress the limits of the medium and its fundamental properties. At the same time, they are traces of expression and the artist’s fleeting gesture. In Anastasi’s take the line is freed from the rigor of the support and academic precision. Similarly in Tadeusz Kantor’s gestural painting represented in the show by an exceptional documentation – a recently discovered film, Attention!... painting (1957), which records a moment of creation of an informel painting. Set alongside this oneiric vision of a creative act, Pierre Bismuth’s film Following the Right Hand of Sigmund Freud (2009) opens up a field for reflection on drawing as a manifestation of the author’s ego, indicating the subconscious as a source for the spontaneous movement of a hand.
Uncontrolled movement and chance determined the final form of drawings by Carol Rama and Tim Knowles. The work of Knowles is the result of ink freely spilling on a piece of paper during transportation to the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. The oldest work in the exhibition, Bruno Schulz’s Nude (1933), as well as a selection of Jerzy Nowosielski’s nudes, introduce representation of the body as a topic further explored in a critical dialogue with works by artists such as Alina Szapocznikow, Dora Maurer and Kate Davis. In Davis’s film and drawings comprising the work Disgrace (2009), fragments of the artist’s body traced on reproductions of modernist nudes by Amadeo Modigliani challenge the dominance of the male gaze in Art History.
At the same time, idealized sketches by the “great masters” provide a striking contrast to the frail bodies depicted in works by Magdalena Abakanowicz (Cataract, 2002), Geta Brătescu (Accident, 1994) and Halina Chrostowska (Hands, 1974-1975), in which drawing becomes a poignant testimony of physical inability and a means of transcending it.
Historical and contemporary works in the exhibition are accompanied by several special commissions. An ephemeral sculpture by Mirosław Bałka, Pisząc ciało/Writing the body/Koerper schreiben will accumulate during the show as a record of traces left in the space by the vsitors. Tony Orrico, a former soloist from Trisha Brown’s dance company will recreate drawings from his Penawald series on the gallery walls. They record a cycle of symmetrical movements repeated for several hours during a three-day action. Within a week-long workshop for choreographers run by the artist, Orrico will also present Wrists on Walks, a lecture-performance on his working method. The exhibition space will become a stage for three young choreographers: Aleksandra Borys, Magdalena Ptasznik and Anna Steller, who will be artists-in-residence at the Art Stations Foundation during the show. Their temporary interventions in the gallery will refer to the works on display and to motifs that link them: meandering lines, fleeting gestures and lasting marks.
The exhibition will be accompanied by presentations by choreographers whose fascination with the act of drawing has been translated into the language of dance and transferred onto the stage. Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea in his play Harvest will make a line transferred into the third dimension a tool for modelling space and a determinant of performers’ actions. The choreographer Jeremy Wade in his lecture performance will reflect on his practice and experiences among which there is also latest collaboration with visual artist Monika Grzymała, with whom he created “dark material” - stage dialogue in which the dancers’ physical activity and “drawings in space” created ad hoc by the artist collide with one another.