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Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Agnieszka Polska: The Demon’s Brain
© Agnieszka Polska, Courtesy ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin and OVERDUIN & CO., LA
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Agnieszka Polska: The Demon’s Brain

The ninth Preis der Nationalgalerie was awarded in the autumn of 2017 to Agnieszka Polska (born 1985 in Lublin). The award recipient’s works will be presented in an extensive solo exhibition in 2018, accompanied by a publication.

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Address

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart

Invalidenstraße 50/51 10557  Berlin


In the animation films by Agnieszka Polska we encounter an encrypted adaptation of cultural artefacts. Her references, however, originate neither from the distant past nor from high culture. Rather, her image collage is an encrypted inventory of the present that evokes the collective unconscious called the World Wide Web. Pervaded by an unsettling undertone, Polka’s films address the state of today’s world and our role and responsibility within it in a poetic and personal manner. The Preis der Nationalgalerie is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and is supported by BMW.

Agnieszka Polska creates video works employing mainly found material, such as archive photography and illustrations, which she subjects to subtle interventions, whether animating them or working them into the existing image. In the process, the artist changes their primary context, simultaneously creating illusions of documentation. She investigates the impact of documentation on its future reception. Her visually powerful explorations of lost times or half-forgotten figures of the Polish avant-garde, turn to how the past is fictionalised and re-worked. Her animated videos evoke a sense of melancholia, and a longing for something that perhaps never was, but which she makes real at least on film. In an interview with Art Review, Polska said that, 'Slow, unnaturally calm movements are present in most of my videos. I mainly work with animated film so a meditative, contemplative quality is present also in the process of production, which is very important for me. Each project needs a lot of time and concentration (for viewer and maker)'. As Polska says, Misunderstandings or erroneous interpretations are all factors, which push art forward creating new values and posing new questions. An archive - as every living organism - is alive and subject to incessant change, forever multiplying images of itself. The elements negated and rejected during the process of archivisation, later appear as the dark matter of our subconsciousness. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, studying in Agata Pankiewicz’s photography studio (2005 - 2010) and from the Universitaet der Kunste Berlin in the class of Hito Steyerl (2008 - 2009). Today she is represented by the Żak/ Branicka Gallery in Berlin. She first began exhibiting her works in Kraków in 2007. She has exhibited across Europe and in the United States, most recently at the Calvert 22 Gallery in London. The series Medical Gymnastics (2008), old photographs moved and stretched illustrating an old gymnastics manual (an animated film) and photographs from a book about children gymnastics, created by removing clothes of the exercising girls with Photoshop (a series of graphics). The Calendar (2008), an animated film based on photographs from German newspapers of the 1930s, shows the tranquil landscape and sounds of nature constantly disrupted by the buzzing of flies, introducing surrealistic accents.

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