Julia Kurek. Volatile


17.04.2015, 15:00 Friday

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Free admission

Included in: [Close Stranger]

Curator: [Irina Tchesnokova]

The performance by Julia Kurek echoes the tragic events that take place every day in the world. We witness terror attacks, violation of borders, aggression towards people, regardless of their nationality or religion. Churches, hospitals, and museums used to be places of contemplation, peace meditation and rest but are now under attack. The performance is meant to remind the audience of the tragedy and fragility of our present time.

Standing on the roof of the Kronprinz Tower, the artist in a white streaming dress will throw paper planes. Each of them carried information about a few of the tragedies, catastrophes, or acts of terrorism which have place in recent years.

Ironically, the artist’s presentation will take place on the roof of the Kronprinz tower, built in the years 1843–1849 as part of the second defensive ring in Königsberg. Since its construction, it has hosted units of the Königsberg garrison, police, the military treasury of the Wehrmacht and several battles were fought in the fort itself. In 2003 though, the Kronprinz tower was placed at the disposal of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in order to establish an exhibition hall, research labs, and an information centre on contemporary culture in Kaliningrad.


Organizer: Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts
Presentation date and time: April 17th 2015, 15:00

Address: 38 Litovsky val (a roof of Kronprinz barracks)

Links: "Close Stranger” website | Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts | Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre | Centre for Contemporary Arts «Łaźnia»

Contacts: Andrey Efits, +7 (921) 263-56-00, +7 (4012) 604-329, andreyefits@gmail.com

Information about the artist:

Julia Kurek (born in Szczecin in 1984). Visual artist. Graduated with honours from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Faculty of Sculpture in 2009 and also studied at the Marmara Universitesi in Istanbul. In 2012, Kurek completed her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków. Her works focus include 2D animation, video, performances, and space design. She has participated in many exhibitions, festivals, and workshops in the United States, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Netherlands, Russia, Israel, and Germany, among others.

Julia Kurek in her artistic activities seeks to define a new status of physicality. In her performances, the body acts as an extraverbal statement with which she examines the condition of a modern man caught up in history, stereotypes and cultural patterns, affecting his bodily autonomy. The body has become a consumer good defined by politics, religion and the media, which are subject to continuous worship of beauty. This mainly concerns women who, despite the liberating wave of feminism, were trapped again in their own physicality that could not grow old. Each wrinkle pushes them beyond the mainstream margin. All natural, physiological changes, which are subject to physicality, become a deviation from the social norm. The body is constantly under the fire of the look that captivates it. Meanwhile Kurek pulls it from the social and linguistic context, trying to give it a new meaning, exposing it to the test - she is not afraid to crawl, lie motionless in the water, wipe up and dress. The body is a repetitive being. It’s cyclical nature determines the daily rhythm of existence, dependent on the current, biological condition. Physicality, placed in stabilizing definitions, at the same time defies explicit, linguistic classifications. Its primary, natural significances liquefy in the eyes of its beholders. "Ugly", "fat", "slim" "smooth", "neat", "beautiful", "wrinkled", "old" - these words become modern, linguistic emblems, which bring the body to the object to be either rejected or appropriated. Michel Foucault, dealing with the history of scientific ideas, sought to explore what he called "naked experience," not distorted by the language, which, as the philosopher emphasized, was not a neutral representative of the world, but a factor in constituting it, and, at the same time, defining the categories of thought and the ways of perception of the reality. Kurek is a cosmopolitan artist - her works and performances were presented not only in Poland, but also in Moscow and Istanbul, which proves her universal approach to the body as a being, which, in almost all cultures, acquires the status of the only perceptual understanding of reality. Her actions have become Foucault's "naked experience," which restore the proper optics of the body, distant from dismorfofobic fears. For Kurek physicality is a phenomenological presence, of which she makes the most, playing with the codes of contemporary culture, creating intimate body image, marked by physiological repeatability, which is its constant transience.

The Lithuania-Poland-Russia European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 aims at promoting economic and social development on both sides of the EU-Russian border, addressing common challenges and problems, and promoting people to people cooperation. Under the Programme, legal non-profit entities from the Lithuanian and Polish border regions, and the entire Kaliningrad oblast implement joint projects co-financed by the EU and the Russian Federation.

The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union under the Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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