The Galerie Christophe Gaillard, now representing the Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra, is proud to present her first solo show in France.
On that occasion, the Galerie will be showcasing the video installation « The rite of Spring » which has already drawn much attention at the Centre National de la Danse, at Art Basel Unlimited, at Vienna’s Mumok in the Cracow and Warsaw Museums.
Katarzyna Kozyra, an important figure of the current Polish artistic scene, draws from ancient myths to better approach the present. Skillfully playing with her medium’s constraints, Kozyra succeeded in offering a new proposition both formally accomplished and meaningful.
The Rite of Spring takes its origin in Stravinsky’s eponymous piece, created in 1913. Conceived by its creator as a « great sacral pagan rite », the ballet stages « two wise men seated in a circle, observing the death dance of a young girl they are sacrificing to make the God of Spring more favorable to them ». The five minutes video loop created by Kozyra focuses on the sacrificial dance. Stravinsky’s ballet showcases the immemorial struggle of opposites, it is therefore in keeping with the Russian composer that the Polish visual artist formulates her dual discourse ; male - female, life - death, youth - old age, strength - weakness. She however offers a successful synthesis by placing the struggle within the dancers’ flesh. The obsolete and deformed bodies of these former dancers (the oldest being 90 years old), are adorned with fake sexual attributes, their androgynous bodies performing almost despite themselves Stravinsky’s frenzied moves : the convulsive moves of transe, of communication with the invisible world. We are therefore witnessing an inner battle, the dancer loses his or her character status to become the principle he or she mimes. That is all the more tangible since the paved-down scenography consists of a white backdrop that flattens the perspective and abolishes space, recalling such stuff as dreams are made on.
The artist’s video installation leads the ballet genre astray by magnificently bypassing the ideal of perfection it usually conveys. She also demonstrates that ballet dancers’ perfect bodies and moves aren’t the only way to a breathtakingly beautiful show. Being more expressive, these imperfect bodies deliver a spellbinding pantomime.
The gallery will also present a series of large size prints as well as a recent video in connection to the Rite of Spring and Kozyra’s collaboration with Queen Gloria Viagra.
Katarzyna Kozyra lives and works in Warsaw , Berlin and New York. She graduated from both the Sculpture department at the Fine Arts Academy of Warsaw and the Leipzig Fine Art School and works as a sculptor, photographer, performance artist, filmmaker and video installation creator altogether. She received an honorable mention for the video installation « Men’s bathhouse » in the Polish Pavilion during the 48th Venice Biennale.