Art Inspired by Family Archives
September 28, 2012
Angelika Markul’s installation-cum-exhibition “Do Not Forget,” now on display at the Galeria Foksal in Warsaw, is the latest salvo in a wide-ranging polemic on collective and private memory.
The project is centered around a video projection depicting Markul’s never-ending journey into the past. The footage is black and white, fuzzy and blurred. It looks as if it was taken from a gloomy old newsreel reporting from the front in World War II.
Markul was inspired by old notes she found in the family archives. These reminded her of the grandfather she never had the chance to get to know. She followed the tragic, wartime fate of her family through several besieged cities where many of them perished from the all-pervasive hunger and severe winters. Markul, however, does not refer to her forebears directly. She takes the viewer on a journey through a desolate and icy landscape—a harsh and gloomy place where the cold, wintry light and distorted, automated sounds of rattling trains heighten the feeling of oppression. The film has become Markul’s personal metaphor of uncertainty, isolation and longing on the way to seeking and defining her own identity.
Markul lives and works in Malakoff outside Paris. Her first individual exhibition in Poland, entitled Sen Muchy (A Fly’s Dream), was held at the Galeria Foksal in June 2006. It was this exhibition that had Poland’s leading contemporary art institutions opening their doors to her. Markul has arrived as a force to be reckoned with on the Polish and international contemporary art scene. Her work is highly individualistic and typically comprises film, sculpture and elaborate spatial installations.
Open until Oct. 12
Galeria Foksal, 1/4 Foksal St., Warsaw
Mon.-Wed., Fri. 12-5 p.m., Thu. 12-7 p.m.Free admission