Agnieszka KalinowskaPolandVisual Arts2003

'Holidays,' 2003, video still


All my projects essentially consist of observing human behavior in extreme situations. I try to freeze very short moments of extreme physical and mental tension. Decisions made under such a pressure have strategic impact not only on our nearest future but also might influence our whole lives. Under pressure we expand our self-consciousness and therefore intensify the next choices we make in our lives. That is why during those short moments we are able to mobilize our whole potential and let go of the energy we would never dream we might possess.

I would like to freeze them in time and stretch them to a point, when the galloping emotions would become clearly visible. If we compare our life to an action movie, I would say I'm interested only in representing the moments when we call upon self-strength and determination; reaching deep within ourselves to achieve an almost more than human ability to resolve problems. My other field of interest, intrinsically relating to the one described above, are the ways and methods of unloading the stress accumulated during everyday activities. In contemporary life, people compete not only in work but also after hours, while recharging batteries. We like to react to everyday situations through physical activities or by entering an exhilarating trance in nightclubs. For a long period of time I have been using various media: video, objects, installation, painting. The symbolism of the materials I'm using in my objects and installations is a very important aspect of my work: materials physical properties, the issues of instant recognition by the viewer and everyday application - are all crucial to me. That's why I am using the materials and supplies such as paper serpentines, confetti, rubber bands or isolation tape.