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Katarzyna Kozyra, photo by Magda Wunsche
Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Family Business Gallery present

Katarzyna Kozyra

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tue, May 29
Wed, May 30

11am - 6pm: Exhibition open for viewing

Thu, May 31
11am - 6 pm: Casting Call
6 - 9 pm: Reception + Book Signing + Dance Party with Disck Jock Ivan

Fri, Jun 1
11 am - 6 pm: Casting Call

Sat, Jun 2
11am - 6pm: Exhibition open for viewing

Family Business Gallery
520 West 21st Street , New York, NY

Kozyra really pushes herself, exploring her own identity - fluid and malleable, feminine and masculine - and what she is capable of. - Gregory Volk, Art In America, April 2011

Katarzyna Kozyra - one of Poland's most celebrated contemporary artists - is looking for "Kozyra" and invites everyone to try out. For two days, the artist and her film crew from New York's Bunker Media production studio will be conducting a casting call, recording the performances of the contenders for the leading role in her upcoming autobiographical film.

This New York performance of Casting Call is the third part in a series to complete the trinity of the Spirit, the Brain, and the Body. Casting Call began at Kozyra's semi-retrospective exhibition at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (Dec 2010-Feb 2011), where in an audition room visitors gave their own renditions of "Kozyra" before a camera, based on their impressions of her and of her works on view. Casting Call was staged again at The Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv in autumn of 2011, where participants could draw upon autobiographical information published by Kozyra for the event. The dramatic difference in the presentations from the Polish and Israeli audiences has inspired yet another reincarnation in a new culture.

In New York, Kozyra wants the body - a physical human manifestation. Anyone can audition regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, or previous acting experience. For the New York run of the project, the artist has prepared specific material for the audience to draw from to help them construct their audition pieces. These sources on her website recall key episodes from her life, with descriptions of selected artworks and streaming videos. A large selection of Kozyra's video works will be on view at the gallery from Tuesday, May 29, as additional research material. The participants are in a way invited to imitate Kozyra - a true artistic chameleon who has transformed herself many times, changing every characteristic of her persona. In Olimpia, the cancer-stricken artist transformed herself into Monet's empowered beauty; in Men's Bathhouse, she appeared dressed as a male, complete with a prosthetic penis; the series In Art Dreams Come True, she explored various clich├ęs of gender, transforming "Kozyra" into a diva, a castrato, and a pop star.

Casting rules:

The participants are asked to prepare a mini performance, less than 7 minutes long, about their vision of Katarzyna Kozyra based on her biography and descriptions of selected works on the website and on the videos on view at the Family Business Gallery from Tuesday, May 28, 2012. Auditions will be performed in front of the camera and the artist at the gallery on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1. Please email with your preferred date and time or inquire onsite. Participants will be required to sign a release form, and those under 18 will require written permission from a parent or guardian.

The New York production of Casting Call is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Family Business Gallery, with additional support from Postmasters Gallery and the Moving Image Video Art Fair. Production by Bunker Media New York.

More about the New York Casting Call

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