Katarzyna Przezwańska, Beatrix Szörényi: On the shoulders of giants

25. 5. 2014 - 28. 6. 2015

Opening: 25. 5. 2014

Karlin Studios, Prvního pluku 2, Praha 8

Artists: Katarzyna Przezwańska, Beatrix Szörényi

Curator: Caroline Krzyszton


f we often tend to destroy and abandon the monuments and buildings from our recent history, such as the socialist-modernist buildings, vestiges of communism, exists also the opposite trend to conserve and restore, for sometimes exorbitant expenses, architectures from periods considered as prosperous for our civilizations. The urban landscape is dotted with buildings-icons that have been devoid of their functions and changed into tourist attractions. The different stages of reconstructions and restorations of The Villas Muller and Tugendhadt from the 1980s have aimed to resuscitate the initial state of the buildings when their commissioners still inhabited them.
We endeavoured to clear up the traces of intermediate periods. And not only we miss most of the documentation about the Second World War and communism periods in the villa's archives, but the laborious restoration campaign has now returned initial architectural elements and furniture (or their replicas) to their primary place, thus determined as their '' good '' place. But if we restored the original aesthetic aspects of the architecture, we also changed private houses into museums, reducing their functional architectures to the role of testimony, exhibition model or myth. Taking the opposite stance of Adolf Loos, we could wander to which extent architecture is distorted when we invalidate its primary function. Didn't the villas simply crystallize into buildings-ornaments adding value to the city landscape? What if ornament was only a matter of scale?
What if men, standing on the shoulders of giants, could only make out shiny roofs of the highest buildings on the horizon, reflecting the sky, what if all the rest was concealed in the fog?
In her work Refuge in the Surface, Beatrix Szörényi mixes archival photographs and personal drawings of architecture, facade, sculpture or personal construction. In each of the images, the surface of the subject appears erased, scratched, broken or inscribed. With this work, Beatrix Szörényi emphasises the transformation processes and complexity of history, which adds permanently new layers and destroys with the same regularity traces of its own evolution.
In her work ornaments, Katarzyna Przezwańska, intervened on the facade of different houses in various districts of Zielona Góra, in Poland. The intervention consisted of painting with vivid colours particular ornaments and stuccowork of the facades, reminding the polychrome of antique Grecian sculptures1.
For the artist, modernity in architecture doesn't only need to orientate towards the individuals but it also needs to replace beauty to the first place: with bright colours, the artists claim the rights to an extrovert, uninhibited idea of happiness. Her notion of modernity doesn't break with the past. On the opposite; it is offering an alternative, renewing the ancient idea of proud and generous beauty, transmitted through the use of new technology materials as well as through the respect of older architectural layers and profound admiration for nature.
Born 1984 in Warsaw, where she lives and works. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, wherein 2009 she did a diploma. Selected solo shows: Galeria Dawid Radziszewski (Goodness Beauty Happiness, 2015), Centre of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski Warsaw (Nice and Pleasant, 2013), Abteibergmuseum, Monchengladbach (WARMHAUS, 2012), Galeria Kolonie (Natural Selection, 2011). She participated in group exhibitions I .a. in Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Centre Of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski Warsaw, Museum Bärengasse, Zurich, MARRAKECH BIENNALE 4, BWA Zielona Góra, BWA Tarnów.
Beatrix Szörényi (* 1976 in Düsseldorf) graduated from the Intermedia faculty of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2005. She was Derkovits Scholarship awardees from 2008-2010 and won Herczeg Klára Prize of the Studio of Young Artists’ Association in 2009. She has been Artist-in-Residence at Stanica in Slovakia 2008, Cites Internationales des Arts – Paris (2009) and at Museumsquartier -Vienna (2010). Her works were shown amongst others at the Trafó Gallery - Budapest, the Bunkier Sztuki - Krakow, etc. Gallery – Prague, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Kunsthalle – Budapest, ICA-Dunaújváros.
Both artists are currently in residency at A.I.R. Futura in the frame of the Visegrad Artist Residency Program – Visual and Sound Arts.