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Handiwork

2016, sound installation (gloves, sandpaper, metal stand, headphones), 21’03’’
Cooperation with Beata Kwiatkowska
Art Review 'Survival 14' 'Workroom' – Lathing Machines Factory, Wrocław (Poland)


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The project Handiwork is a collaboration between the visual artist, Karina Marusińska, and the radio journalist of Czwórka station, Beata Kwiatkowska. The project consists of the two components:a visual and an audible one. Visitors can rent a set imitating a protection kit usually worn by the factory workers: gloves and headphones. However, elements of Handiwork fulfill the reverse functions: instead of protection, gloves cause discomfort, instead of silencing, headphones are the source of sound – they transmit interviews with employees of the Lathing Machines Factory (FAT), in which the authors ask, among others, about the importance of manual labor in the production of lathing machines, and ask employees to talk about the work in FAT from the perspective of their own hands. Renting a set and surrendering to the senses of touch, hearing and seeing stimulates to reflect on the title. Handiwork relates to valued manual labor, handicraft, and negative actions of taking matters into one’s own hands, alike. In both cases, hands are the driving force. In the factory, handiwork is of a tremendous value: every hand, every employee is essential for the final result. The paradox is that the same work, which provides dignified life for the employees, destroys their health. Here emerges a second, negative interpretation of the title. Hands are the main working tool, even when running the machines, they act as living extensions of the inanimate automata. Hands are covered with wounds, scars, degeneration. They can be very sensitive and delicate, serve to commune with a higher power, foretell the future, sometimes 'fall', sometimes 'you do not know where to put them' – as authors of the project comment.

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Hug

2015, action, installation (metal handrail with porcelain elements), video, 8'29''
'Bridges' project, European Capital Culture Wrocław 2016 (Poland)


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Hug is a multidimensional project about the problem of exclusion. The basis of the conversations with random people was the question: How does the problem of social exclusion affect you? While giving their answers, each of the people who were asked could make a handprint in soft porcelain that was later fired in a kiln. The handprints, now durable, were used as handrails on one of Wrocław’s bridges. The bridge was so narrow that when crossing it people had to hold onto the handrails – symbolically holding hands with the outsiders, whose taped statements were played back on the bridge.

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Purity

2015, installation, sandblasted stoneware tiles, 180 x 180 cm

The project is almost imperceptible intervention in the gallery space until the moving guests leave marks of their presence on it. As a result of using sterile, white, shiny floor tiles, the surface fragments forming the inscription get dirty, making it visible. Dirt, considered a by-product of everyday life, becomes an indispensable element for the creation of the work. It is a testimony of the passage of time, with which it gains a new value.

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Protection

2015, sound installation, ceramics, postument, motion sensor, speakers
Art Review 'Survival 13' 'Prohibited Acts' – Riot Police Barracs, Wroclaw (Poland)

Absurd situation in which porcelain elements in the shape of clips, normally used to protect shop goods against theft, have become protected objects themselves - thus gaining the status of objects of desire. However, the applicable rules of behaviour in the work-recipient relationship, recognizing the act as an offense or consent, were not entirely clear. The characteristic loud sound of movement sensors, surrounded and intimidated some people, but it didn’t stop others from appropriating objects - useless, but marked by a gallery tin. Perhaps the three doors to the room, which increased the chances of being caught in the act, paradoxically led to temptation. Perhaps the consciences remained immaculate. The thefts, apart from the suspicious and judgmental eyes of those who were with them, were not enforced in any way. At the same time, the crowd facilitated avoiding responsibility. One of the people in a private message sent me a photo of their prey, commenting ‘I had to’. A few people voluntarily pleaded guilty, but only half of them returned the loot.

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What was left

2014, ceramics paper,
4 x 2 x 2 cm

What is usually rejected is saved and preserved in noble material to make us reflect on what we are leaving behind. There are no cards successively filled with notes, plans, dreams, which over time become a form of a document, diary, which allows verification of successes and failures. The act of tearing the corners of the cards reflects the passage of time, it is used to quickly open the calendar on the page with the current date. However, it doesn’t mean the same for everyone  for some it is waiting for something to come, for others counting the days gone by.

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From prosperity to the anus, through the anus to non-existence

2014, objects, onglazed painted porcelain, [22x] Ø 18-34 cm

Classic tableware often possesses decoration in the form of sentimental floral motifs, geometric ornamentation or rustic genre scenes. Here, however, the inspiration for the vessels holding our future meals came from images of the anus produced in transanal ultrasound tests. This is a commentary on the phenomenon of compulsive consumption (both in the sense of acquiring material goods and consuming and digesting food), which exceeds actual need. The pleasure is only momentary  beautiful meals are quickly transformed into material of nondescript form and equally nondescript consistency. Here, before the eyes of those.

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Object with a hole

2014, object, porcelain,
11 x 36 x 36 cm


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The object, made of precious material, called 'white gold', is a kind of caricature of a utility object. The suggestive hole in its central part is so small that it is difficult to assign any utility function to the object. There is association with the body. The limits of intimacy are shifted. Disgust in combination with the material desire makes this useless object something one wouldn’t want to have but still…

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II. V.

2014, objects, porcelain,
[2x] 10 x 14 x 14 cm
Action supporting the fight against hunger 'Empty Bowls'

Bowls based on the hemisphere with the wall extended upwards. Exactly at the height where the extension begins, there are small holes – on the individual copies in the amount of 2 or 5. These numbers according to the Seven Deadly Sins determine the second sin, which is Greed and the fifth – Intemperance in food and drink. This detail prevents the vessel from being filled with liquid in its entire volume. ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed’ – Mahatma Gandhi.

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Weeds

2014, objects, porcelain,
[60x] Ø 26 cm
Kaolin. Art and Design in Contemporary Ceramics – Jingdezhen (China), Ćmielów (Poland)
Fragment of this piece is in collection of National Museum in Cracow (Poland)

Jingdezhen in China is the place where kaolin clay is excavated with traditional methods to be later used in the production of porcelain. I focused on the hardly visible wayside weeds, which are camouflaged and covered in kaolin dust. Weeds are considered undesirable, as they disturb the aesthetics of elegant places. They pose a threat to crops and must be controlled. Weeds are usually self-seeding plants and are often hard to identify. In the language of Chinese propaganda, the word ‘weed’ denotes also a dissident. The set consist of 50 plates. They are decorated underglaze with cobalt – an ancient decorating technique (Chin. qinghua – literally translated as ‘blue flowers’), which is considered a milestone in the development of Chinese ceramics. I used also stencil technique popular with the opposition movement. When exhibited the plates are usually arranged in rows and bring to mind old herbariums, gravestone photographs on porcelain or commemorative plates, which used to be ordered by various institutions to honour the accomplished activists or to mark special occasions and anniversaries.

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Out of place

2014, object, painted porcelain,
65 x 28 x 28 cm
Kaolin. Art and Design in Contemporary Ceramics – Limoges (France)

The vase reflects the character of the era in which it was created. Since the beginning of time it has been a luxury good defining the status of its owner. Handed down from generation to generation, it constitutes family values and traditions.

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