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ARTISTS:

Bozenna Biskupska - Poland
Gosia Koscielak - Poland/USA
Teresa Murak - Poland
Zygmunt Rytka - Poland
Istvan Haász - Hungary
Adela Matasová - Czech Republic
Vuk Cosic - Slovenia


BIOGRAPHIES

LECTURERS' BIOS

Prof. Clare Cavanaugh is a Professor of Slavic and Gender Studies at Northwestern University. In her teaching and writing she addresses the relationship between poetry and society in both Western poetry and recent theory. A highly esteemed translator from Polish, she has collaborated with Stanislaw Baranczak on translations of that poet's work, as well as that of the recent Nobel Laureate in Wislawa Szymborska: View with a Grain of Sand, winner of numerous translation awards (PEN, AATSEEL). Her writing has been widely published in such periodicals as the New York Review of Books and The New Yorker. Current projects include biographies of Czeslaw Milosz and Adam Zagajewski.

Prof. Andrew Wachtel is Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Consortium for Central and Southeast European Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of a wide variety of books and articles on Russian and South Slavic literature, culture, and society. His most recent book is Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia (Stanford University Press, 1998). He is an active editor and translator of contemporary Russian and Slovenian poetry and prose. As editor of Northwestern University Press's acclaimed series "Writings from an Unbound Europe", he endeavors to identify and publish the most interesting contemporary poetry and prose from Central and Eastern Europe. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Prof. Wachtel is a frequent commentator on Chicago radio regarding US policy in the Balkans.


CURATORS' BIOS

Elzbieta Koscielak, following studies in the anthropology of culture at Wroclaw University, graduated in 2001 from the Department of Art Management and Art Administration at the Warsaw School of Economics. A curator, lecturer, and art critic, she has numerous international art exhibitions to her credit, such as Transcultural Visions - North-South in the Krolikarnia Castle, National Museum, Warsaw, 1999, and Transcultural Visions 2: Polish-American Contemporary Art, 2001-2002 at the National Museum in Szczecin, Poland. She has published over 100 essays, articles, monographs, and reviews on national and international artists (Arti in Greece, Projekt, Odra, Art and Business, Obieg, Format, and Exit in Poland.) Her writing often addresses issues related to minimal and conceptual art and has focused on the contemporary art of Central European and Greek artists. In 2002 she worked as a consultant for the Polish Ministry of Culture. From 1985 to 1994 she worked in Athens, Greece, as an art critic and curator. A member of the Association of Greek Art Critics, AICA HELLAS, she has been living in Poland since 1994.

Gosia Koscielak, also a participating artist, is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and then as a Fulbright Scholar earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts at the Wroclaw academy. A student and later an assistant of Professor Wanda Golkowska, a prominent figure in Polish conceptual and minimal art, Gosia Koscielak was artistic director of the gallery Rekwizytornia at the Contemporary Theatre in Wroclaw from 1987 to 1990. She has curated numerous international exhibitions, such as Transcultural Visions 2: Polish American Contemporary Art at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago (2001) and the National Museum in Szczecin (2002). From 1998 to 1999 she worked at the Field Museum in Chicago as lighting designer for the Millennium Projects: Sounds from the Vault, exhibition winner of the Golden Muse in 2000, awarded by The Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee of the American Association of Museums. In 2000 she designed an exhibition, The Remarkable Works of Copernicus, Hevelius, and Other Polish Astronomers, for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She has lectured at the Art Institute of Chicago and St.John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. She has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University and currently at the University of Illinois, Chicago, lecturing on Central and East European Art.


ARTISTS' BIOS

Bozenna Biskupska obtained an MA with special distinction from the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, in 1976. Strongly connected earlier in her career with the Polish tradition of eschatological expression on the trauma of World War II and the Holocaust, she creates paintings, sculpture, and installations. Starting with figuration, she later developed her own language of the human figure as symbol or sign. Line as a gesture on the surface of canvas, paper, or an object characterizes her latest work - symbolic and minimal at the same time. For the past few years she has been working on a cycle of paintings and sculpture that explore the problem of positioning in space. Exhibiting mostly in Poland until 1990, her work has since then been shown all over Europe (including the Venice Biennale) and in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Gosia Koscielak, who is also co-curator of the exhibition, is an artist strongly connected with the traditions of Polish constructivism and rational art. During the last decade her art evolved in the direction of post-conceptual reflection on human nature and its historically, biologically, culturally, and technologically complex relationships. From the beginning of her artistic path she has been fascinated by the phenomenon of light. She creates multimedia installations, paintings, and computer graphics. Koscielak has had numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums in Poland, Italy, Germany and the U.S. She has also had group exhibits in Greece, Holland, Poland, Germany, Spain, Austia and the U.S.

Teresa Murak, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Murak is one of the best- known Polish artists of the 1970s. She is interested in the processes of growth, death, and rebirth, and works with plants, earth and water. Among her favorite plants is watercress, which she has grown outdoors, in galleries, in a shirt, and even on her own body. She also creates work on paper, painting with water and light. She has seeds of watercress germinating in sculptures made of her own paper-round "paper suns." Murak captures on non-durable paper the transience of both existence and light. Her conceptual reflections lie somewhere between performance and body art. Her actions, performances, and installations question human archetypes of faith, death, birth, biological life, and resurrection of the world. Her work, deeply rooted in pagan, Christian, and ancient traditions of Polish and European culture, has been represented at such international venues as Deuxieme Convergence Jeune Expression, Paris; Biennale Balticum in Rauma, Finland; Structure in Progress III, Lodz; Ars Erotica, National Museum, Warsaw; Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; P.S.1, New York.

Zygmunt Rytka, a pioneer of video art in Poland, joins "a mechanical-electronic camera with a biological producer, a cameraman" to "make a closed circuit and create the basic, perfect, "neuronically-optically-electronic installation" (NOE). Since 1972 Rytka has participated in over 100 group exhibitions. A member of the legendary underground artistic group, Lodz Kaliska, in the eighties in Poland , he creates photography and video as well as video documentation of his performances. His art is connected very closely with his philosophy of the unity between the Human and the Universe. Zygmunt Rytka questions the classical categories of beauty, harmony, symmetry, and proportion.

Istvan Haász graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest (Hungary), where he is currently a professor. Haasz is a representative of Hungarian geometrical abstraction, associated with Constructivist traditions. Geometrical forms, abstract reliefs, and paintings are not just subject to formal analysis, but also play a symbolic role that is full of emotion. His series of reliefs was created after the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. His art has the proportionality of the ancient Greek Doric style, but also contains references to contemporary historical events.

Adéla Matasová is a professor at the Academy of Arts , Architecture, and Design in Prague ( Czech Republic ). She creates sculpture and site-specific installations. Starting as a painter, she became interested in sculpture in the late 60s, making reliefs out of synthetic resin. She first introduced her new body of work in 1970 after two years in Paris on a UNESCO grant. In the 70s she developed a new body of work combining paper reliefs combined with pencil drawings, which resulted in several solo shows and awards in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. From 1985 she worked with a variety of materials including flax paper mass and reflective metal, and started to introduce sound installation in her solo shows. Currently she works in metal combined with steel mirrors. Her work has been presented at sculptors' symposia in Switzerland, Greece, and Poland , and in many international group shows in Europe, Japan, Latin America, and the U.S.

Vuk Cosic, born in Yugoslavia, graduated in archaeology in 1991, emigrating that year to Trieste, Italy, and the following year to the newly independent Slovenia. Active in literature, politics and art, Cosic has exhibited, published, and been active on-line since 1994. Cosic is well known for his challenging, ground-breaking work as a pioneer in the field of net.art. His constantly evolving oeuvre is characterized by an interesting mix of philosophical, political, and conceptual network-related issues on the one hand, and an innovative feeling for contemporary urban and underground aesthetics on the other. A co-founder of Nettime, Syndicate, 7-11, and Ljubljana Digital Media Lab. Most notable venues (commissions, personal and group shows, talks)include, among many others, Videotage, Hong Kong; Media Artlab, Tel Aviv; Venice Biennial; MIT Medialab; Walker Center, Minneapolis; Postmasters, NYC; Kunsthalle, Vienna; LAMoCA, Los Angeles; ICA, London; Beaubourg, Paris. His work can be seen at http://www.vuk.org.
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