June 1 – August 3
OPENING: MONDAY 1 JUNE AT 6.00 P.M.
OPENING WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE FORM OF A LIVE STREAMING ON ŁAZNIA CCA’S FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM PROFILES.
EXHIBITION: 1 JUNE – 3 AUGUST
NEW EPISODE: EVERY MONDAY AT 6.00 P.M.
CURATOR: KINGA JAROCKA
Art presented in virtual spaces may avail itself of the language used online. Filip Ignatowicz’s #artUNBOXING project, presented at the ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art as a solo online exhibition, is a video performance created specifically for YouTube. The exhibition is composed of a series of ten works. The event will last from 1 June to 3 August in the form of a new episode published each Monday.
The ten episodes of the YouTube show presented at the exhibition were inspired by the online video genre of “unboxing”. The premise of these videos is the unpacking of products – usually popular and expensive ones – and then reviewing their appearance and functioning. Most of the time these are telephones, photographic and video cameras, but there also exist unboxing videos of furniture, clothes, and even food. Instead of objects typical for the genre, the artist opens the artworks he purchased, objects signed by artists or exhibition gadgets. At the same time, he commits a performative takeover. Within the multitude of things that can be “unboxed”, Filip Ignatowicz exposes viewers of the format to entirely new objects they had not been familiar with – art objects. Thus, he becomes a pioneer of the “artUNBOXING” genre he has invented.
The gesture of unwrapping the package, checking it, and testing the purchased object represents the essence of the performative act. This action forms part of the artist’s long-term project of exploring the boundaries between art and product, consumption and culture. Ignatowicz very often refers to concepts such as McDonaldization, Disneyification, self-commodification and lovemarketing. By taking over elements typical for commercial online spaces, he wants his videos to spark a conversation on the situation of art in consumer societies, while also encouraging the young and very young generations to approach contemporary art. His actions are mainly addressed to the online audience.
During the #artUNBOXING exhibition, you will be able to see objects associated with Łódź Kaliska, Andy Warhol, KAWS, Guerilla Girls, and many others.
As the author observes, if you counted all views, it’s quite likely that the number of people who saw an iPhone unpacked on YouTube is greater than the number of iPhones that were manufactured. Until now, no one has tried to “open and unbox” a work of art on screen, certainly not as part of their creative practice. Could Ignatowicz start a new “artUNBOXING” trend? For now, he encourages other Internet users to share this experience.
The artUNBOXING concept was coined in 2014 (and was originally meant to be a one-off event broadcast live during a performance festival). The first, pilot episode of the series (never published online) was recorded on 12 November 2015. Activities in the series were completed as two scholarship tasks financed by a cultural grant from the Pomeranian Province and as part of the artist’s PhD at the Faculty of Painting, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. The showcase at ŁAŹNIA CCA is the first such broad-reaching exhibition and promotional event in the history of this long-term project.
The works from the artUNBOXING series were also created as part of the artistic and research project “ART FESTIVAL (…)” at the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. The project was implemented with the financial assistance of the Pomeranian Voivodeship.