"If everything I do ultimately seems to be ‘theatrical’, it‘s because everything around me is a bit theatrical and to show that, I’ve decided to be ‘baroque’. Moreover, I like to give my projects everything they need and a bit more as well … Am I supposed to stop with a boring documentary? Just look at how theatrically Gloria Viagra displays her femininity. Or Maestro – who, in his behaviour, appears incapable of distinguishing between an opera performance and his real life."
Katarzyna Kozyra, in an interview with Gerald Matt, Kunsthalle Wien, From: Gerald Matt, Interieurs 2, Verlag Walter König, 2008 (translated by Andrew Boreham)
In her photographic works and video installations, Katarzyna Kozyra explores the questions surrounding our existence, identification and identity. In very sensual, poetic images and with a humour that gives plenty of food for thought, her 13-part video work In Art Dreams Come True focuses on the transition of gender identities. Her theme is gender stereotypes and gender as an identity constantly culturally reformed and bound to our own gendered expectations. Here, Kozyra displays an area of cultural taboos – and presents a work that has caused not just one but several scandals in her home country of Poland. The call for freedom is implicit in her works, which equally attack our feelings of shame and, in a variety of styles, treat diverse limits in a playful and anarchic way – including delimiting the border between artist and audience by making the viewers part of her films.
In “Summertale”, the final part of her cycle, Katarzyna Kozyra leads us into a beautifully idyllic fairy-tale summer where female dwarves carefully look after a house and garden. One day, three giant toadstools grow in the garden. A person emerges from each one – Gloria Viagra, a well-known Berlin transvestite, Maestro and Kozyra herself. Initially, the dwarves welcome them – until they discover their guests’ real genders and passions. The meeting of two worlds ends in a blood bath – two worlds each able to be read as the image of perfect womanhood under different auspices.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2008 Summertale, ZAK I BRANICKA Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2008 Strafe und Verbrechen/Cheerleader, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany
2007 Faces, Centre National de la Danse, Paris, France
2005 Punishment and Crime, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
2003 In Art Dreams Come True, DAAD Gallery, Berlin, Germany
1999 Men’s Bathhouse, Polish Pavilion, (48.) Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Selected Group Exhibitions
2008 Under The Skin: New Video From Poland, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA
2008 All That Cinema, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary
2007 Global Feminism, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
2006 The Impossible Theatre, Barbican Art Center, London, UK