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Empty Bowls

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Purity

2011-2015, installation, ceramics, 180 x 180 cm

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The Power of waste

2011, site-specific
Project completed during residency 'Shaping the New' – Kosice (Slovakia)


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'Sometimes so much dirt gathers so that it seems a waste to simply throw it away'
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Wanting to experience peculiarity of the city, I've been searching for alternative ways of its exploration. My goal was to go ahead, get lost and never to come back in the same way.

Instead of tourist (passive consumer) I became a traveler, direct experience-oriented, discovering meanings hidden in space, revealing new faces of the cities. I rejected the main routes, entering into what is overlooked on the tourist maps, venturing in the most unclean corners of concrete slabs. This is what blocks of flats constitute the largest percentage of the area of the city, here lives and works most Koszyczans. A fairly homogeneous society, everything looks pretty much the same. Decided to get myself a two-month deja vu.

 

The key to expedition was garbage, waste. In the context of preparations for the European Capital of Culture 2013 I ask about the condition of Koszyczans in the face of the cultural transformation of the city. This is an attempt to search for identity not through cultural goods, which are preserved, nurtured, reconstructed, but the discarded props from the perspective of material culture, namely that which in the opinion of the individual lost its value, it is unnecessary, came out beyond the primary circuit – throwing away as a denial. I bring to attention the fact that outside mainstream cultural activity there is space that could broaden general knowledge of culture and the real needs of its recipients with new values. Culture can not exist without its contradiction.

 

What is trash? Valuation of items is carried by the subjective perception. According to Mary Douglas it is simply a matter 'out of place'. Garbage result from tidying up, through natural selection of what a man no longer requires. Eliminating as an act of freedom is the production of a new reality (and therefore a productive activity).

 

Since garbage may be inventory of cultural resources, then how can we 'recover' this waste? Is the annihilation of litter or underestimating their potential an actual problem? We are indifferent to garbabe until it begins to stink.



The result of this project is a video - interviews with residents of Kosice.
Postcards depicting fragments of public space with traces resulting from the movement of litter bins. Like points on the map seem to be permanently included in the topography of the city. This motif was used to enrich maps with new areas to explore the culture, as defined in the legend as the 'Culture for free'.
Copies of documents with a request for any additional containers for cultural waste. Letters were sent to the Kosice – European Capital of Culture 2013 Institute, Kosit – the company responsible for the city cleaning and to the Mayor of Kosice. No response.

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In situ

2011, site-specific, soil, wire
Project completed during symposium 'Fenomen Gemer' – Ozdany (Slovakia)

Fragments of a cracked soil crust, slightly lifted above it's surface, appear as levitating. Those fragments symbolize process of reclaiming clay excavation, which should happen in a name of balance.

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Grand Canyon of Art. Landscape of the Mine

2006, symposia and workshops – BOT Brown Coal Mine 'Belchatow'
Organizers: Karina Marusinska (AFA Wroclaw), Aleksandra Idziak (SGGW Warsaw)

Perception of the space of open-pit mine with the aid of art as the new view on industrial, seemingly technically and culturally dead space – identification of landscape (seeking Genius Loci of mine space) and an attempt of modelling it by action; Art as a polemic with strict technique of reclamation; Co-creation of unique, new ‘kraj-obraz’ (Polish: krajobraz – landscape; kraj – country/land; obraz – picture; kraj-obraz – the picture of the country/land) of the mine as an alive source of inspiration for young artist and landscape architect – land/picture readers and land/picture planners/creators; The landscape of mine – viewpoint of the open-pit and desolated village Debina as new, open gallery spaces for unconventional modern art – alternative strategy of development for BOT KWB Belchatow S.A terrains and the whole region.

From the view of further landscape architect and artist modelling the land of the Belchatow mine is a remarkable challenge. In our collaborative work using art in landscape reading and planning as a medium, a symbol itself completes the craft of management and arrangement of the open-pit mine in Belchatow, ‘cause the art may show its new energy, not only the one gathered from coal…’
Aleksandra Idziak-Brown

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