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Cracow: Justyna Mędrala

January 28, 2017 - June 18, 2017



Opening: January 27th, 2017 (Friday), 6PM
Curator: Krzysztof Siatka
Coordinator: Renata Zawartka
Location: Lower Gallery

The exhibition of Justyna Mędrala is rooted in a dream – one that is impossible to forget, and all the more difficult to recreate. A dream with a machine at its core. Which was so impressed, it fell onto itself.

The exhibition The Machine Was So Impressed It Fell Onto Itself is a recreation of a dreamlike vision that appeared one night in the artist’s mind. Justyna Mędrala’s exploration is not guided by, as one might instinctively think, a pragmatic goal of recalling the dream. It is madness that turns out to be her method of artistic work, her memory – a reference point, and her creative obsession – her driving force.

The artist’s work extract and test the qualities of matter: coal, bee wax, or soap. The exhibition consists of works made out of organic, impermanent materials. Mędrala, who is known to have created coal installations, chooses fire and smoke this time, using them to create a series of drawings depicting the eponymous machine. Although “depiction” should be placed in quotation marks – Mędrala’s exploration is accompanied by appreciation of the fact that the drawings will not in fact reveal the truth of the machine’s essence.

The exhibition is complemented by a wax curtain. “Materials that I work with: bee wax, coal, and soap are true mines repositories of artistic values and cultural meanings. Sensing their their smell, colour, texture, and weight enhances my relation with the outside world,” she remarked on this element of arrangement. The smell will become as significant as the texture, since the curtain exudes an intense, natural scent of wax. The curtain is a symbolic and literal barrier between the sphere attainable by the senses and intellectual cognition, and mystery – it is a tangible trace of a dreamlike memory.


JUSTYNA MĘDRALA (1988) graduated from the Graphics Department at the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków (2013), where she is currently working on her doctorate. She creates drawings, sculptures, and installations. Her works were presented at individual exhibitions Krew, morze (Blood, Sand; AS Gallery, Kraków, 2014) and Destrukcyjne tendencje (Destructive Tendencies, ARISTOI, Kraków, 2016). She participated in the 7th Triennal of the Young in Orońsko (Polish Sculpture Center in Orońsko, 2014), Mocne stąpanie po ziemi (Down-To-Earth Walking, a part of the Rezerwat project, BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice / BWA Municipal Gallery in Tarnów, 2015), To, co jest i co nam się wydaje, że jest (What Is And What We Think There Is, Szara Gallery, Cieszyn, 2015), and the exhibition of the 12th Geppert Competition (BWA Gallery in Wrocław, 2016).She is the laureate of awards such as Dolina Kreatywna (Creative Valley, 2007), Talenty Trójki (Talents of Trójka, 2014), the Walter Koschatzky Art-Award (2015), and the 12th Geppert Competition (2016), and a scholar of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2007).

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