Katarzyna Kozyra

Sculptress, author of films and video installations. Since Piramida zwierząt (Pyramid of animals) – her controversial diploma piece at the Department of Sculpture of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts – her work is regarded as belonging to critical art. In 1999 she represented Poland at the 47th Biennale in Venice.

The most important works by Katarzyna Kozyra include:

Piramida zwierząt (Pyramid of animals, 1993) – the work is composed of stuffed animals – a horse, a dog, a cat and a rooster – placed on one another and of a drastic film recording the killing of a horse selected by the artist.

Więzy krwi (Blood ties, 1995) – large format photographs showing naked figures (including the author and her disabled sister) with a red cross and crescent in the background. Two photographs were set against each other on a billboard as part of the AMS Open Gallery in 1999. The work was censored.

Łaźnia (Bathhouse, 1997) – video installation presenting a film made by the artist with a hidden camera in a women’s bathhouse in Budapest. Reproductions of classic works of art, Rembrandt’s Suzanna and the Elders and Ingres’s Turkish Bath, were edited into the film.

Łaźnia męska (Men’s bathhouse, 1999) – video installation prepared for the Venice Biennale. In an octagonal structure imitating the interior of a bathhouse a film made with a hidden camera in a men’s bathhouse in Budapest was screened. The artist dressed as a man could be seen in it. Another element of the installation was a film showing Kozyra dressing up as a man.

W sztuce marzenia stają się rzeczywistością (In art dreams come true, 2003–2008) – a project combining various forms of visual arts, music and performance, with its successive stages documented and shown as separate works. Kozyra assumes various roles and impersonates various figures – opera singer, drag queen, cheerleader. The final product of the project is to be a long documentary with certain fictitious elements.

Casting (2010–2011) – the first stage of the project was a one-woman show in the State Art Gallery Zachęta. The artist presented her major works, archive materials and documentaries, so that the viewers could see all her incarnations. Part of the exhibition was a casting room, where everyone could interpret and act out his or her vision of Katarzyna Kozyra. For the final product of the project is to be an autobiographical film; the artist is looking for the cast.

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