Emerging Polish Artists At Town Hall Galleries Ipswich

By Freya McClelland | 18 September 2008
A billboard from 1118 Miles exhibition

Iwona Zajac, The Family, 2008, mural. Courtesy Ipswich Borough Council

Exhibition preview- 1118 Miles at the Town Hall Galleries Ipswich running until November 1 2008.

1118 miles is the geographical distance between two capital cities – London and Warsaw. However, these four contemporary and emerging Polish artists explore the ‘emotional distance’ between the two cities.

Universal Communication is the focal theme, in particular the impact of new technologies (Skype, e-mails, chats, cheap calls) on long-distance relationships.

Agata Borowa’s exhibition Find me and Ultramarine look at virtual relationships as a potential replacement to the support network of relatives. She records three months of her correspondence with 200 friends, many Polish immigrants to the UK, from a chat room dating website.

The interest lies in how much can be deduced about identity and indeed the potential for human connection, in a forum so easily manipulated by imagination and misrepresentation.

A billboard from 1118 Miles exhibition

Twozywo, 2008, poster. Courtesy Ipswich Borough Council

Wojciech Doroszuk’s films are about the human will to communicate. In Picnic and Lunch he teaches a group of international students Polish and then brings them together for a picnic.

We watch them use a vibrant mixture of languages and body language to communicate. The inevitable question of how substantial and meaningful such exchanges can be remains unanswered. Doroszuk refused to conclude with a portrayal of superficial harmony.

Karol Radziszewski’s video Plus/Minus looks at intimate conversation as we watch the artist at home awaiting HIV test results. He records all telephone conversations he has with a friend and through this we bare uneasy witness to his fears and concerns.

Stills from a film from 1118 exhibition

Karol Radziszewski, still from Plus/ Minus, 2006, DVD. Courtesy Ipswich Borough Council

Iwona Zajac is a painter and her project explores what is it to be the ‘other’. Her murals are an exploration of the effort required to communicate through another language and are manifestations of her responses to socio-political situations.

The group TWOZYWO design posters, poster and billboards to explore communication in urban spaces. Humour is employed to break down barriers, both literal and metaphorical.

This international collaboration has been developed between The Polish Arts Festival organised by Hungry Arts, The Town Hall Galleries and the curators Katarzyna Szydlowska & Konrad Schiller.

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