Katarzyna Kozyra: Summertale
16 May – 21 Sep 2014
The Darkroom video and media art exhibition series has in 2014 focused on the great unknown, with themes such as fantasies and the mind. This summer Katarzyna Kozyra’s Summertale (2008) sets our imagination free.

Summertale (20 min.) is a hilarious contemporary fairytale flirting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, combining idyllic imagery with Grimm-like gore. The events take place when three eccentric strangers - opera singer Maestro, drag queen Gloria Viagra and lastly Agnieszka Kozyra, played by the artist herself - come to disturb the harmonious life of the dwarves. The co-habitation works well until the new-comers break the unspoken rules of the wonderland and find out that hospitality also has its limits. The fear of otherness forces to restore the status quo, no matter what it takes.

Polish Katarzyna Kozyra (b.1963) has in her art studied representations of gender, beauty ideals and social taboos such as death, illness and nudity.  She rose to world fame in the 1990s with the work Olympia, which discussed her own battle with cancer and with her series Bathhouse which was secretly filmed in women’s and men’s bathhouses. Summertale was formed as a part of the performative series In Art Dreams Come True, which Kozyra worked on between 2003 and 2008. As a finale to the series discussing the role of an artist Summertale comments on our need to eliminate strangeness around us. In Summertale the Other is manifested in the peculiar and often aggravating men. Another part of the series has also been seen in Finland: Cheerleader (2006) which imitates the image of women in popular culture was displayed in Kiasma’s 2012 exhibition Thank You for the Music.

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