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The Polish Cultural Institute is pleased to announce

Christian Tomaszewski in

Friday, December 7, 2001 - Saturday, December 8, 2001
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

323 West 39th Street (EFA Studio Center) between 8th & 9th Avenues, New York, NY Tel: 212.279.1173

Born in Gdynia in 1971, Christian Tomaszewski lives and works in New York City. His recent installations have been shown throughout Europe and America in such venues as the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice, the Sculpturenmuseum Glaskasten in Germany (a joint project with Ilya Kabakov), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Awards include grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Chinati Foundation, the Polish Cultural Institute, and a residency at the American Academy in Rome.

"The creation of a visual dictionary is the idea surrounding Christian Tomaszewski's latest installations. It's not so much the semantic dimension of the word that interests him or even the way it's defined in the dictionary, but rather how much of a difference each of our own individual experiences could have made or makes to the meaning of that word. It's a kind of mise en scene of verbal meaning which invites the viewer to question his/her own interpretation of the content of that word." - Chiara Bertola, Fondazione Querini Stampalia

When visiting someone's home, one first sees the façade, and must enter from the outside, and open the front door, and so on. Here, the continuity is interrupted. No façade, no front entrance: from the hallway one instantly passes into the drawer of a filing cabinet. It's as though someone were building a house from the inside out, or like being a guest inside someone's stomach without having been previously introduced to the face or the name or even the gender. The stomach is a very personal part of the body, perhaps as personal as the mouth, or our private parts, yet there is something generic and abstract about it. We do experience our stomachs, but we never see them, except as illustrations in medical textbooks: a colorful drawing on a white background, the surrounding blankness leading to the hermetic bunker of the digestive processes. Where can I hang my coat? Here the information provided is cryptic. There is definitely a story behind every single element, but the narrative itself is in the hands of the one who enters, which means that the number of stories is equal to the number of visitors. It is not fully clear what the intentions are - are we experiencing our own claustrophobia, or someone else's? What time is it? And how is the weather?

The color of the walls - not exactly institutional gray but close enough - and the very institutionally fluorescent light& these are to assure you that there is nothing personal about it. Whatever you see is an hallucination of your own. You are imagining things, as when you imagine, while riding an elevator, that you are in a spy movie. - C.T.

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