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Lukasz Skapski: Recent Video Works and Photographs

There are powerful emotions and surprising candor at work here, sometimes leavened by a humor that is at once accessible and distinctly Polish. The examination of social customs and rituals reveals underlying attitudes inherent in the social fabric. Critical awareness is, as always, the linchpin of a free and healthy society.

Ten video works will be presented in this show, including some very short half-minute and one-minute videos with titles like The Wind, Brightness, Cold, which the artist describes as "funny and a bit taoistically tautological."

A longer piece entitled Clash shows a series of interviews with women about the experience of pregnancy and maternity. In contrast with traditional social views, many of them reveal that they hate the experience.

Skapski is particularly interested in Polish society as it emerges from its difficult recent past. In the series Machines he uses both color photography and video to show home-made tractors put together by farmers who improvised as mechanics to fulfill the needs of their small private farms. These unusual and spectacular "monsters" illustrate the human capacity to pragmatically resist totalitarian oppression, and the accompanying video further underlines the pride and dignity of the human spirit.

Other videos include Cracow Guide, in which the inhabitants of this famous medieval town comment about living in the standardized housing blocks that cover 90% of the city's area. Explosions is a baroque-minimalist film consisting of found footage from Hollywood films, while The Film is "a film about telling films, or rather, a film which is being told during the film."
May 2022
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