Katarzyna Kozyra / Mieke Groot

Venezia - 06/05/2015 : 22/11/2015

Mostra doppia personale di Katarzyna Kozyra: Looking for Jesus e di Mieke Groot: Works from Dakar


  • Indirizzo: Corte Barozzi - San Marco 2158 30124 - Venezia - Veneto
  • Quando: dal 06/05/2015 - al 22/11/2015
  • Vernissage: 06/05/2015 ore 19
  • Autori: Katarzyna Kozyra, Mieke Groot
  • Generi: arte contemporanea, doppia personale
  • Orari: mar-sab ore 15-19

Comunicato stampa

Ca Nova di Palazzo Treves - Corte Barozzi - San Marco 2158 - 30124 Venezia
next to Europa Regina Hotel - vaporetto stop San Marco Calle Vallaresso
+39 041 5207859 +39 348 8561818 [email protected] www.caterinatognon.com
On the occasion of the 56

Biennale Arte Venezia
Caterina Tognon opens her new gallery showing
Katarzyna Kozyra Looking for Jesus
Opening May 6th, 2015 h 7.00 / 12.00 pm
May 7th / November 22th, 2015
Tuesday / Saturday h 3.00 / 7.30 pm
collaboration with Zak Branicka
thanks to Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation
Katarzyna Kozyra’s starting point for this project was information about the so-called
Jerusalem Syndrome, an acute delusional disorder which had been reported by medical
professionals only in the 2nd half of the 20th century. After visiting the Holy Land, people afflicted
with the syndrome start to identify with Biblical characters – mostly and usually with the Messiah.
To date the artist has visited Jerusalem four times in order to find those, who in the early 21st
century believe themselves to be Jesus. The result is over 100 hours of video footage from
interviews, and the city which serves as the background for religious rituals, and a scene for people
of various faiths, denominations and colours, subsequent Messiahs who try to convince the artist
they are miraculous and genuine, and a colorful crowd of pilgrims and locals. This time Kozyra
witnesses an ongoing performance in which she is not the protagonist, but merely an audience
attempting to find and record at least a fraction of what goes on in this sacred city. Kozyra
encounters incredible personalities. Each of her heroes hides a fascinating story, and all of them
combined constitute a project presenting ways and means of carrying out one’s faith, its place and
role in today’s world, and values on which we build our reality.
The editing process is yet another stage of the contemplation of this “performance”, and at
the same time it is the moment for the verification of certain facts. It is also when the artist ask
herself-and us-many questions: what are the mechanisms of faith and shaping our beliefs? How
do we perceive reality and how do we build our perception of it? Isn’t the critical approach and
never-ending fact-checking just another expression of the instinctive desire to believe in the power
of reason?
According to the Polish historian and essayist Andrzej Wajs, the video "Looking for Jesus"
is not a documentary in the classic sense of the word. It is a diagnosis and, at one and the same
time, a journal of the artist’s own journey who, at one moment, notices that she is also telling her
own story, a story of lack, of non-presence and of longing. The Jerusalem episode affords her a
better understand of the phenomenon of self-identification, for now she can observe it from
outside, as it were. Her characters, meanwhile, are utterly convinced that otherness – including
cultural alienation – is a stain which they have to wipe away and that only in discovering
themselves will they find the road to Jesus, as a guarantor and guard of their subjectivity. If they
feel like its lessees, it is only by way of His consent. Like apostles. This is what the film treats of.
Katarzyna Kozyra was born in Warsaw in 1963, a sculptor, photographer, performance
artist, filmmaker, author of video installations and artistic actions. She is one of the most renowned
Polish contemporary artist, both in Poland and abroad. In 1993 Katarzyna Kozyra graduated from
the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Sculpture. Kozyra received, among others, the
Paszport Polityki award in 1997 and the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in
2011. In 1999, she received an honorable mention at the 48th Venice Biennale for the video
installation Men’s Bathhouse in the Polish Pavilion. In her works she touches upon the most
important issues: identity and transience, life and death or religion and sex. She manoeuvres in
spheres of cultural taboos as well as the stereotypes of behaviour ingrained in society. In 2012 she
established the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation. After her solo shows presenting Looking for Jesus
in Warsaw, Berlin and New York, many media, including the New York Times, wrote about this
project, emphasizing its entertaining and philosophically intriguing aspects.