MODEL, 2017. Six framed photographs, digital print, 100 X 140 cm.
In this series of large-format photographs, the artist brings her double to life. The effigy manufacured by a specialist firm is a faithful copy of her head and torso on a 1:1 scale. Grzeszykowska documents the process of applying makeup, eyelashes and eyebrows, and the framing and reduced distance create the illusion of confronting a real person.
The intimate character of these portraits and the natural lighting allude to the tradition of painterly representation. At the same time, the series is a further transgression of self-portrait conventions and another attempt by Grzeszykowska to liberate herself from her own body — symbolically dividing identity from its physical medium. Alluding to her earlier photo series, the artist probes the creative possibilities of this medium. Here photography is used in an exceptionally suggestive manner to create artificial life, a person who lives only in pictures.
Aneta Grzeszykowska (PL)
Born in 1974, graduated from the Graphic Arts Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 2014 won Polityka's Passport Award in The Visual Arts category. Lives and works in Warsaw.
The primary medium in which Aneta Grzeszykowska works is photography. However, she treats it instrumentally, as a tool for the realization of advanced, artistic and ontological exercises. The artist is interested in the role photography plays in creating and documenting a personal identity. Therefore, in her film projects or doll sculptures, the human figure acquires the shape and aura of a marionette. One of the main topics of Grzeszykowska's works is her own identity, with which she plays on many levels: by erasing her own figure from a family collection of photographs (Album, 2005), or by impersonating Cindy Sherman in her classic cycle Untitled Film Stills (2006). Some projects by Grzeszykowska – like the cycle of illusionist portraits of non-existent people (Untitled, 2006) – take advantage of the possibilities offered by digital image manipulation, while others use photography and film in a classic way by emphasizing the performative dimension of the artist's activities. The motifs which she obsessively returns to in her works are absence, invisibility, disappearing, and the confrontation of body and thought with non-existence.