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Artur Zmijewski

Exhibition dates: 30 July - 16 October 2010
Preview dates: Thursday 29 July 6:00 - 8:00pm

Artur Zmijewski is based in Warsaw, Poland, and is one of the most consistently provocative artists working today. This major UK touring exhibition spans his practice from 2003 to the present day. Zmijewski is known for creating situations that test participants' and audiences' beliefs and opinions and in which we are made brutally aware of how fragile our moral codes are.

The exhibition includes his project 'Democracies' (2009), which records mass gatherings and protests through Europe and the Middle East. Also presented is his seminal work 'Repetition' (2005), in which Zmijewski re-enacted the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. In 1971, psychologists asked volunteers to 'act out' the roles of inmates and guards to establish how power affects us. Alongside these, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art are pleased to announce an additional new piece to this major UK touring show, from Zmijewski's recent commission for AFoundation, Liverpool.

The work, which brought Zmijewski international recognition was 'Them', 2007, first seen at Documenta XII. Them, brings together four groups in Warsaw with conflicting views - members of the nationalist All Polish Youth, a group of young Jewish liberals, an assortment of leftists and a Catholic women's group - in a workshop situation. Invited to each create a banner that represents their idea of Poland, the groups begin to discuss their differences. When they are invited to alter each others' banners patience runs thin and what was discussion becomes aggression.

Recent Ordway Prize-winning artist Artur Zmijewski was born in Warsaw in 1966. From 1990-95 he was a student in the Faculty of Sculpture at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1999 studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He has had solo shows at MOMA, New York; Kunsthalle Basel; BAK, Utrecht; and the Polish Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. His work has been included in major international exhibitions such as the 11th Istanbul Biennial; Documenta 12, Kassel; The 2002 Liverpool Biennial; and Manifesta 4, Frankfurt-am-Main. In the UK he has shown his work in exhibitions at the ICA, London; Modern Art Oxford; and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.

This major UK solo exhibition was first presented at Cornerhouse, Manchester (Nov 2009 - Jan 2010), and will now show at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (30 July - 9 October), before touring to Tramway, Glasgow in Autumn 2010.

 


Preview evening for the Artur Zmijewski exhibition 2010. Photography credit Jordan Smith. 


Preview evening for the Artur Zmijewski exhibition 2010. Photography credit Jordan Smith. 


Preview evening for the Artur Zmijewski exhibition 2010. Photography credit Jordan Smith. 


Preview evening for the Artur Zmijewski exhibition 2010. Photography credit Jordan Smith. 




Image: stills from 'Democracies', 2009, courtesy the artist and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw.


Image: stills from 'Repetition', 2005, courtesy the artist and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw.


Image: still from 'Them', 2007, courtesy the artist and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw.

Exhibition produced by Cornerhouse and curated by The Salford Restoration Office.
All work courtesy of Foksal Gallery Foundation.