Do It Yourself by Karolina Babińska is the last exhibition in this year series of presentations of emerging Polish artists at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. It focuses on the function of art in the process of making and distributing images.
In her art, Karolina Babińska escapes classic categories and is not easily pigeonholed. It is difficult to say what kind of art she makes. When initiating events or participating in the creation of exhibitions, she often applies the strategy of avoidance. Almost by instinct she fails to deliver the “products” expected of her as an artist. As she takes her beginning steps in the ever more professionalized world of art, she also asks herself what professionalism actually means here. At the same time it does not ease the task for herself or her collaborators. Does this attitude cause her projects to deal directly with the issues of artistic production, the circulation of images and meanings? What will we see this time in the Project Room at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art? Certainly not what we would expect – or, exactly what we would expect.
Karolina Babińska raises questions on what role art should play in times of tension related to the crisis of image, language and communication in everyday life, public discourse and social media. In her work for Project Room, she reflects on the function of art in the process of production, the circulation of images or representations. Taking up the game at the level of meaning, she decides to make a minimalist gesture that disturbs architecture and the perception of the exhibition space. She also goes beyond this space, as the actual exhibition is located in the communication route leading to the gallery rather than in an actual white cube. Babińska’s objects, blending in with the surroundings, ironically refer to the functionality of the existing space. The objects she creates are as if they are between being in and out of “circulation”. It is difficult to capture their status. To Babińska, the most crucial points are the aesthetics and undermining existing meanings, as well as making the whole situation of exhibiting more abstract. Making specific deformations of the encountered objects, she reflects on their functional features.
As part of her project, Babińska also interferes with the visual identification that accompanies the events in the Project Room and constitutes a marketing image of the exhibition. Transforming the already recognizable visual identification of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, the artist winks at us, pointing out how important it is for artists to take up the topics of communication, language and form, again and again.
This is the sixth edition of this year’s Project Room. As part of this series, the works of emerging Polish artists are presented at U–jazdowski. All exhibitions have been prepared especially for this space. This year we have already seen projects by Grzegorz Stefański, Maria Toboła, Weronika Gęsicka, Ania Nowak and Karolina Mełnicka. From among all this year’s projects, an international jury will select the two best exhibitions and award them a First Prize of 20,000 PLN and a Second Prize of 10,000 PLN. The winners will be announced in January 2019.
- Karolina Babińska
- born in 1986 in Poznań, studied law and administration at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and at the University of Szczecin, as well as cultural studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University. She also graduated from the Academy of Art in Szczecin with a degree in painting and new media (diploma project "I leave my workplace #1 #2 #3"). Looking for her own way, and in gaining experience she uses in her artistic practice, she worked as an instructor of art, film, photography, puppet theatre, and stage design at the Pleciuga Puppet Theatre in Szczecin, and at the Brother Albert Youth Sociotherapy Centre in Szczecin. She took part in group exhibitions in Obrońców Stalingradu 17 in Szczecin, Student Depot Polonez in Poznań, W Y Gallery in Łódź and at the Młode Wilki Festival. She was a finalist of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition in 2017.