Katarzyna Kozyra | the artist
The artist Katarzyna Kozyra
Born 1963, Warsaw, Poland.
Lives and works in Warsaw and Berlin, Germany, .
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“If I set such goals for myself, then I got a lot further. I’m probably one of those people who has to set their sights on an impossible goal. That’s how I give myself chance, because I really believe in it, and take it seriously; I really give myself a chance to explore things that are completely new for me.”
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The works of Katarzyna Kozyra point to the most important issues of human existence: identification, identity, transgression. She acts in the realm of cultural taboos referring to the bodily nature of man and to some stereotypes and behavior in the context of social life. She questions and overcomes them while stirring controversy and (usually) subjecting herself to the criticism of the outraged critics. She forces us to re-think and verify the settled order of values by unveiling the facts of reality…
Studied German at the University of Warsaw in 1985-1988, and then Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1993 she finishes her studies in prof. Grzegorz Kowalski's studio, called the "Kowalnia", and befriends her drawing professor – Jerzy Stajuda. After her studies, she quits practising sculpture in favour of photography, video installation, and performance. In 1997 she was awarded the Passport of "Polityka" weekly, as the most promising Polish artist. Representing Poland at the 48th Venice Biennial in 1999 she won an honorary mention. Lives and works in Berlin and Warsaw…
Katarzyna Kozyra's uninhibited performances and videos examine social mores as they apply to gender, aging and illness, religion, and group behavior. Her video installation The Rite of Spring is inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky's extraordinary choreography for the composition by Igor Stravinsky, a work that premiered in Paris in 1913. The ballet celebrated a pagan sacrificial ritual in which the frenzied dance of a young virgin transferred her energy to the earth, which resulted in her death…
"Bathhouse" and "Men's Bathhouse" begin with the premise that men and women tend to conform to stereotypes of behavior and appearance in public, while in private they behave more naturally. In the end, the installations raise additional issues of voyeurism and narcissism, as well as concepts of beauty and aging. Both pieces were filmed at the bathhouses of the Hotel Gellert in Budapest, and both were filmed using cameras hidden in plastic bags and placed on or below benches in the bathhouseswithout the knowledge of the participants…
During her DAAD Berlin Artist Program, Polish video artist Katarzyna Kozyra, decided on becoming an opera singer, with the help of a professional Polish singer master known as The Maestro and Berlin-based drag queen Gloria Viagra. The exhibition is a documentation of the thirteen performances between 2003 and 2006 as well as a documentary with interviews from people who worked on them.