Angelika Fojtuch. Layers of the Work of Absence

Place: Gdańsk City Gallery 2, Powroźnicza street 13/15
Opening: 7th of September, Friday at 7.00 p.m.
Exhibition: 7th of September - 14th of October 2018
Meeting with the artist: 11th of October, Thursday at 7.00 p.m.

Artist: Angelika Fojtuch
Curator: Maria Sasin
Coordinator: Andrzej Zagrobelny

Artistic documentation happens to be biased, though its subject has always been based on some sort of genuine contact, bilateral dialogue, an established relationship, sometimes a long-lasting one... between people, bodies, gestures...
This closeness devoid of rhetorical tricks, false tones, affected poses, though often arbitrarily provoked, is nonetheless radically honest and responsible. Encountered face to face, carefully, intently, without anesthesia and without compromise. A childishly naive closeness, yet stripped of illusions and desperate. Sobbing at times, though more often silent. Touching... At times it only brushes, at times it hurts...
Angelika Fojtuch’s life and art fit tightly together.

Hubert Bilewicz (Catalogue, Angelika Fojtuch. Transparency, 2013)

The exhibition Angelika Fojtuch. Layers of the Work of Absence at the Gdańsk City Gallery is a comprehensive retrospective presentation of the work of this artist-performer from the last 15 years. It is the first such retrospective show in Poland, and the second one after the exhibition in Mönchengladbach in 2013.

The show revolves around the multidimensionality of performance art, the questions of the social and intimate character of Angelika Fojtuch’s creative approach, her rebellious sensitivity to the surrounding reality and the artist’s experimental game with the necessarily imperfect form of performance documentation and its quasi-utilitarian function.

The exhibition comprises sixteen films and around ten works created using various techniques. The pieces originate both from the early period of Fojtuch’s practice, such as the performance-for-camera series Mamix, Onitoja, I Like Playing with a Doll, and the projects at the now historical Modelarnia space on the premises of the Gdańsk Shipyard: the performance Yours from the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, and Solidarity – the action with which the artist bid farewell to the shipyard hall on the eve of its demolition. The show also features footage of Fojtuch’s performances in the remote corners of the world, such as Singapore, Chile and the Dominican Republic, as well as her most recent projects created at her exhibition space GATE art zone in Düsseldorf.

The artist comments on her exhibition: The show can be explored along the axis of the eponymous layers of performance, layers of presence, layers of life, layers of dying, which occur in a linear fashion, one after another, and which I situate within the conceptual brackets of absence. Absence stems from the experience of the absolute and ultimate form of performance. Performance is a radical, reliably transparent and casual means of communication. The only such means that remains after everything else has failed us.