This year’s 5th edition of the Piotrkowskie Biennale of Art competition is entitled “What can we sacrifice to the world, how and why to do so?”. The inspiration behind this edition are films by the famous Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, especially the message conveyed in his last film “The Sacrifice”. Besides elements taken from the director’s autobiography, the film gives an answer to the question of what to do to save the spirituality of today’s world. This answer is not only meant for artists from the movie industry, but also for all members of the audience who are conscious of the hazards of our times. Krzysztof Jurecki, the chairman of the Biennale jury said: “As we elaborate on films by Tarkowsky, we want artists to present genuine messages using a variety of art forms. We want them to show us what a sacrifice is and what it can possibly mean.” 374 artists submitted a total of 906 works for the competition. Contemporary Lynx would now like to present four of those artists, who received accolades and were recognized by the competition jury. Let’s meet Aleksandra Pulińska, Łukasz Głowacki, Jakub Wawrzak and Agnieszka Jaworek.
Aleksandra Pulińska (born in 1987) was awarded the Grand Prix of the event for her work entitled The Way. The idea for this work originated when the artist prepared her diploma project at the Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź, namely at the Theatre and Film Costume Design Workshop of Professor Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska. Some of the shooting was done during the preparation of this diploma project as well. The Way is a 10-minute video shot in cooperation with Agata Bogusławska, Zbigniew Tęcza and Paulina Nawrot among others. This video refers to the biblical Way of the Cross. It is divided into 15 acts: “Condemned to Death”, “The first Fall. Adversities”, “Simon Helps Carry the Cross”, etc. up until “Resurrection”. The video frames boast oneiric tones and colours. The camera captured the shots of typical city courtyards in Łódź. They present windows, tenement houses, heaps of rubble, gates, walls and puddles. The artist used this painting-like means of expression to depict contemporary spirituality. Aleksandra Pulińska received a scholarship of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. She also participated in many group and individual exhibitions.
Łukasz Głowacki (born in 1964) received the first prize for his series of works entitled The Form of a Collapse (Forma upadku) and Phrygian cap. He is a painter, performance artist and creator of objects, installations and videos. He does not restrict his activities to any particular field of art, but everything he creates is interconnected and full of common points of reference. A negotiator of images, he is focused on illustrating and promoting the idea of “The Point of Art”. He graduated from the State Institution of Higher Plastic Arts Education in Gdańsk where he studied at the Department of Painting and Graphics. He lives in Nałęczów where he works in the Józef Chełmoński Fine Arts High School. He presented his works at several dozen group and individual exhibitions.
Jakub Wawrzak (born in 1989) received the second prize for his work Oasis. In 2013 he graduated from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń where he studied Intermedia and Multimedia at the Faculty of Fine Arts. From 2014 to 2017 he was an assistant at the Department of Visual Arts of UTP University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz. In 2017 he started working as an assistant at the Department of Graphics of the Nicolaus Copernicus University. In 2018 he received his PhD degree in fine arts (awarded to him by the Nicolaus Copernicus University).
One of the things which inspired him to create his complex Oasis work was a report written in 2010 by the Australian press journalist Joe Chandler. In her intriguing piece of writing she expressed emotions she experienced while staying at the Polish A. B. Dobrowolski Polar Station located in an Antarctic oasis in Bunger Hills region. This writing drew attention of Jakub Wawrzak who, inspired by the experiences of Joe Chandler, decided to collect and archive various materials related to the Polish polar expeditions from the period of 1958–1979.
Agnieszka Jaworek (born in 1985) was awarded the third prize for the work Stand Still. This spatial installation features the video screened on quartz scattered on the floor. Such unique type of screen is no match for any traditional means to screen a movie. For this artist art is what helps us learn things, define the world and name what is around us. She perceives art as something concrete which, however, goes back to abstract notions at a certain level that can be expressed in some way, but neither strictly scientifically, nor purely intuitively. She uses multiple forms of artistic expression, i.e. painting, drawing, graphics, photography, neon lights, installations, objects and video materials. She is a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. She holds a degree of the Doctor of Arts. In 2013 she received the award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and a scholarship of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for outstanding achievements. She was also awarded the scholarship through the programme “Polish Culture Around the World” held by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Agnieszka Jaworek presented her works at multiple individual and group exhibitions in Poland and abroad (e.g. in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, Nepal, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia).
Edited by Contemporary Lynx