Señores de la danza (Lords of the Dance) is a video installation adapted onto two screens for this exhibition. Two films are shown in a loop, and after a succession of images in the form of a prelude two characters appear wearing helmets, dressed only in a swimming costume and painted gold.
In this project Katarzyna Kozyra (Warsaw, 1963) endeavours to exhibit the masculine body whilst also considering the absurdity found in contemporary stereotypes when referring to the image of the 'super man'. The formal and conceptual link manifested in these two figures - who epitomise of the image of virility, athleticism and attractiveness - refers to the classic hero and results in a catalogue of clichés, comic derision and the kitschiness of the original concept.
Katarzyna Zozyra is considered one of the most preeminent artists on the current Polish art scene. In this work she maintains her stance on art as a vehicle of exploration, the possibilities of which go beyond the mere creation of objects; thus, this video installation represents a visual and conceptual exercise that aims to dismantle the idea of the masculinity, both socially and culturally.
The videos, synchronised on the two screens, are dominated by the two men encouraged by Katarzyna to act in determined situations. Both play roles that demand the expression of the stereotypical male hero: conquerer, idol, warrior, gladiator, astronaut, acrobat, motorist and explorer. The video projections show fragmented choreographies of both characters, who perform, through drastic movements, in aseptic empty white spaces or abandoned factories. The soundtrack to the projections is formed by the noise of motorcycles and the music from a science fiction film.
Their golden appearance make them both look like Greek statues or Pagan idols, although the helmets alter and subvert this classical appearance and bring the figures back to the present moment, based on construction.
Katarzyna Kozyra places the most emphasis and interest on the notion of the outfits. The heroic poses, flexed muscles, pain and the effort seen on the men's faces suddenly turn them into derisory figures as the pastiche and moral simplicity of these modern stereotypes are conveyed.
28 February – 1 July 2024
Olga de Soto
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The Practice of Art
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Ulla von Brandenburg
29 November 2023 - 11 March 2024
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The Turning Point
23 February – 7 June 2024
What They Saw
Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999Library and Documentation Centre