It is no secret that this year has been a tough one for many. Yet, in all the struggle and hardship we have endured in the past couple of months we have also been able to witness acts of kindness, friendly help and support – the art world is no exception. Community Center and Art Gallery OP ENHEIM, located in Wrocław, decided to take matters into their own hands and start a new competition titled OP_Young to help support and promote young local artist from the Lower Silesian region. To enter artists had to meet only two criteria; 1. be below the age of 35 and 2. be, as mentioned above, associated with Lower Silesia. The contest rules allowed for four winners, each of which would be able to present their work at OP ENHEIM (in the gallery and on-line), a royalty fee of PLN 1000, individual mentoring and the chance to have works acquired and be part of the OP ENHEIM collection. In total 65 applications were received out of which five finalists were chosen (one extra than initially foreseen). Their works can be viewed at the OP ENHEIM Gallery in Wroclaw until 6th of October. Below we present each of the five finalists of the first edition of OP_Young.
1. Jakub Jakubowicz
Jakub Jakubowicz is an intermedia artist who deals with the subject of memory in his works. Originating from Podkarpacie, he became interested in the history of the village of Wólka, which was one of the Lemko villages (an ethnic group inhabiting Lemkivshchyna, a part of Transcarpathia – spanning Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland). Today, after forced displacement, there are subtle traces of this village in the hilly landscape. Over the last few years, he has made Wólka his theme, restoring the memory of this place through a series of installations and in-situ projects. In 2020, he received the 2020 Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. The Wólka project is a series of four works which Jakubowicz says he was inspired to create by finding a map of Wólka from 1945.
2. Oktawian Jurczykowski
In his work Oktawian mainly uses photography, which he enriches and extends with experience gained while working on animated films, illustrations and graphics. By combining elements from different fields of art he creates an original visual language relevant to the topic of discussion. Topics discussed by Jurczykowski concern issues related to belonging, identity and, recently, also with the face of democracy. Despite frequent references to historical events his works are characterized by universal and up-to-date commentary on reality. His award-winning project titled Czerwień ciemniejsza na czarno-białych zdjęciach (Red is Darker on Black and White Photographs) is currently on display at OP ENHEIM until the 6th of September. In this project, the artist mixes archival photographs with contemporary images in a way that blurs the visual differences between them, trying to understand the cult of Józef Piłsudski and treating him as a parable that he uses to analyze the current social and political situation in Poland. The photos from the period of the Second Polish Republic are intertwined with the photographs of sculptures depicting the Marshal and self-portraits of Jurczykowski, and the time of their creation is blurred.
3. Nikita Krzyżanowska
Krzyżanowska is a painter and student of the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts E. Geppert in Wroclaw in the studio of prof. Marek Jakubek. Shee deals with expressive, vivid painting, which can be situated on the border of expressionism, abstraction and graffiti aesthetics. She is associated with the Wrocław group – the Church of the Nihilists, and the Śmierć Frajerom Gallery in Warsaw. In the space of OP ENHEIM, Krzyżanowska will present a series of new, extremely dynamic, based on gesture and intuition, multi-colored, albeit at times gloomy and rebellious painting works.
4. Liliana Piskorska
In her artistic activity, Piskorska analyzes social issues from the perspective of radical sensitivity, rooted in practice and feminist-queer and feminist-post-humanist theory. It focuses on the relationship between the state, nation, Central European identity and the position of peripheral identities. Shee takes up the subject of queer lesbianism and non-heteronormativity, reflecting on its construction and potential, and explores the place of Others in building state projects. An important element of her artistic practice are the issues of group identity, collective memory, the construction of law, and ways of building imaginary communities. Shee builds her projects based on performative experiences, acts in intermedia, creating installations and sculptural elements, videos and photographs.
5. Dorota Morawiec-Winiarska (Honorable Mention)
Visual artist, sculptor and graduate of the Faculty Sculpture and Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts. E. Geppert in Wrocław. The main area of her of action is sculpture, often involving drawing. She lives and works near Wrocław. Her series of sculptures which received an honorable mention from the judges are dedicated to the theme of motherhood. This project is the result of studying the affinity of the forms that she understands in two ways: first, it is related to the topic of motherhood, in which focus is put on relationships between a child and a woman – mother. It is also from this aspect that the concept has a second meaning affinities, more formal, related to artistic issues – the relation of two solids, or in the case of drawing – two shapes.
Written by Mikołaj Bartkowiak
20.08-6.09.2020 | Oktawian Jurczykowski
17.09-6.10.2020 | Jakub Jakubowicz, Nikita Krzyżanowska, Liliana Piskorska
Curator: Kama Wróbel
OP ENHEIM, pl. Solny 4, Wrocław