Kuba Bakowski: "Studies in Natural History"
Opening: Saturday, November 14, 2009 6–8 pm
Exhibition Dates: November 14 – January 10, 2010
The interior of a coal mine in Europe; a group of miners strikes a pose as their headlights make a luminous picture of the Ursa Major constellation (Big Dipper). A freezing night in Spitsbergen, an island on the Arctic Sea; a figure disguised as a polar bear is holding a signal lamp which illuminates the sky in the place where the North Star should be found. The ground floor of a New York City apartment building; the image of a prehistoric reptile is projected onto a radiator in the room, the ribs of the skeleton overlapping with the ribs of the radiator, creating a 3-D structure effect.
These and other surprising and disquieting photographic and video installations are grouped together by Polish artist Kuba Bakowski in Scaramouche’s gallery space. Bakowski's works are an ironic comment on the official and scientific way of presenting the world. Natural History as told by Bakowski is not subject to a single explanation; rather it is a reflection of the real world that is full of paradoxes. At the same time, the driving force behind Bakowski's artistic work is the search for experimental solutions in photography, video and performance.
Specializing in photography and media art, Bakowski creates projects of an utopian, experimental, poetic and ironic nature. His work, laced with a trademark sense of perverse humor, reveals a desire to confront the real world with the artificial one generated by digital media.
Bakowski’s works have been presented in several solo exhibitions at the Zacheta National Gallery and the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, as well as group exhibitions at the Museum Moderner Kunst Vienna, Museé d'Art Moderne Saint-Etienne, Artspace Sydney, National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Centro d'Arte Contemporanea Villa Manin, among others. He was awarded scholarships from Location One International Residency Program, New York (2007), Skowhegan International Residency (2008), as well as from the Polish Ministry of Culture, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute and The National Centre of Culture of Poland.