Rafał Milach

3 Polish Artists Who Recently Won or Were Shortlisted for Prestigious Prizes

Zuza Golińska, Rafał Milach and Marcin Nowak – these three artists/photographers are worth following because of their powerful and already internationally recognised projects that respond to the current political situation in Poland and Eastern Europe. From a photo project on the ancient Białowieża Forest through a portrayal of propaganda in post-Soviet countries, to an immersive laser installation on fitting into society. See whom you should know, follow and support.

Zuza Golinska with her installation at Delfina Foundation, ©Tim Bowditch Zuza Golinska with her installation at Delfina Foundation, ©Tim Bowditch

Zuza Golińska

The laser installation referenced the troubling climate for women in Poland

Based in Warsaw, Zuza Golińska is a young artist who creates site-specific installations and projects dealing with the relationship between humans, public space and architecture.

In January, she was announced as ArtePrize 2017 winner organised by ArteVue and Delfina Foundation, and was awarded a cash prize of US$15,000 and a three-month residency at Delfina Foundation in London. Her work Dead End | Future Twice, was chosen by the judges alongside projects by three other finalists: Sahil Naik (India), Kiah Reading (Australia), and Lukas Zerbst (Germany).

The jury awarded her laser installation ‘Dead End | Future Twice, that simulates the individual’s experience of the labyrinth of borders and structures, for its immersive qualities and relatability. In her acceptance speech she referenced the troubling climate for women in Poland.

“Zuza Golińska’s installation is wholly immersive and impactful. As you walk around ‘Dead End | Future Twice’ you become part of the work and mould into the space. The idea of where you fit in life, in society, in a room, is something that everyone can relate to, and, because Zuza’s art is about interaction with society and the world around you, we believe that being in London for three months will progress her practice immeasurably.”

The ArtePrize has been designed to support young, emerging talent and is open to artists aged 18 to 30 who are not yet represented by an established gallery. Zuza Golińska was selected from 650 applications submitted by a range of international artists, encompassing photography, 2-dimensional works on paper and canvas, and 3-dimensional sculpture.

We will keep you posted about her new commissions and further achievements. Well done and congratulations!

Anaklia, Georgia (c) Rafał Milach 2013 An unfinished viewing tower. In 2011, President Micheil Saakashvili visited Anaklia, a village located on the Black Sea. He conferred town rights on it and announced the beginning of an ambitious development programme which would transform it into a luxury resort. Resplendent with lavish glamour, Anaklia was intended both to become the new authorities’ political flagship and to compensate for the nearby city of Sukhumi, which was lost during the Georgian-Russian-Abkhazian conflict of the early nineteen nineties. Construction work began in 2012. After Saakashvili’s party was defeated in the parliamentary election of 2013 and Saakashvili himself fled the country, the work was discontinued and the colossal building site rapidly transformed into crumbling ‘modern’ ruins. Rafał Milach, Refusal

Rafal Milach

Tracing the mechanisms of propaganda

Rafał Milach is one of the four nominees for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018. His project/ exhibition entitled Refusal (presented at the Atlas Sztuki Gallery in Łódź/ 2017) was shortlisted alongside projects by photographers Mathieu Asselin, Batia Suter and Luke Willis Thompson.

Refusal is an expansive portrayal of the ubiquitous tactics of government control and propaganda. Milach traces the mechanisms of propaganda and their visual representation in architecture, urban projects and objects, focusing on post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Poland.

The exhibition will be displayed at The Photographers’ Gallery (23 Feb – 3 June 2018, London) and subsequently tour to the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt as part of the photo triennal RAY 2018. The winner will be announced at a special award ceremony on 17 May 2018 in London. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Rafał.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded annually to a living artist of any nationality who has made the most significant contribution, either through an exhibition or publication, to the photography in Europe in the previous year. It is one of the most prestigious prizes in the world of photography.

Marcin Nowak Marcin Nowak

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About the Author:

Marcin Nowak


He won the UAL Olympus Photography Award 2018 under the Print category for his work The last primeval forest, Białowieża. The competition was organised by Bermondsey Project Space, supported by Olympus UK and in partnership with Arts SU: UAL's Students' Union. He says of his work, "Over a four month stay in the forest with activists in the protest camp, I realised first hand that the Polish government manipulates evidence, media and leads to misrepresentation. I have decided to show a set of three pictures as one image, for me it represents the relations between evidence media, representation and reality.” Białowieża Forest is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. In 2016, Polish government decided to start logging in the forest, despite fierce protests from environmental groups battling to save the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 2015, Bermondsey Project Space is based in the vibrant Bermondsey Street, London. Exhibitions, events and out-reach educational projects combine the power of the world famous OLYMPUS brand with the UK-wide reach of STATE F22 magazine, one of UK’s most innovative art & photography magazines.

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