We are opening the exhibition!
Although it is open to the public who can enter the gallery for the first time, it has already been presented in various online ways and explored for several weeks through a mediated acquaintance.
The givens are: faculties, majors, or specializations of Polish art academies that educate in new media. Several dozens of bachelor’s and master’s graduation projects defenses each year. Competition. Frequency: every year. Independence of choices: preserved. The objectivity of criteria: high. The Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition for the sixth time. For the first time – under the restrictions imposed on cultural institutions by the pandemic period.
All of the selected works were created before the pandemic, without a sense of the new limitations of the art world. Before the necessity of finding alternative ways of contacting the audience. In each work, the direct experience is still important, almost inaccessible at a distance, and lost in indirect means.
The materials published so far are not an alternative to the exhibition but a way of circulating it, ultimately leading to a visit to the gallery. Thanks to the digital representation of the gallery’s interior, providing documentation of the works and artists’ statements, a photo gallery, fanzine, and other materials on the exhibition’s website, as well as broadcasts and other social media activities, we tried to give instead of the feeling of visiting an exhibition – an inspiration to see it in a real space.
Media Arts Graduation Projects’ exhibitions initially did not have a separate title. Till the one which took place at the WRO Biennale 2019 CZYNNIK LUDZKI / HUMAN ASPECT, and was organized under the title AKCES, emphasizing the fact that the diploma is a submission directed towards the art world. After a period of education, recent graduates are facing it independently. This is, in a sense, a universal situation, that repeats itself with each diploma. We have decided to keep this name for exhibitions of subsequent competitions, showing young artists in search of a place for their art. Moving away from education, verifying assumptions, making revaluations, in search of a place for oneself, although it is a universal situation, each of the artists must do it in their own way. To make an independent turn, so as to stop being a “graduate” and simply become an author. So now, next to “access” in the title of the current exhibition, there also appears “turn”.
This turn also applies to the exhibition itself, which turned out to be full of unexpected twists and turns. Planned for spring 2020, due to the lockdown and limitations of both art schools and galleries, part of the competition process at universities was postponed and moved to the online realm. This online sphere, until now, has also become more and more a form of exhibition presentation, until the next turn – its physical opening, taking place now. On another level, the title also comments on the striking difference with the results of the previous competition, which showed a certain contestation, irony or even distrust of young artists expressed towards the new media area, with which they did not quite want to be identified.
The presented works were created in alliance with technology. The artists have made use of the wide contemporary and historical area in a variety of ways. Thus, the exhibition features works referring to the “new media” tradition, searching for structural interactions between sound and image, space and text, construction and intermediality of an open form, using the contemplativeness of multi-screen and subtleties of animation. Next to them, there are works realized with newer VR imaging, created using the language of apps and programming experiences with artificial intelligence.
The exhibition space at the WRO Art Center has been arranged to allow each of the presented works to resonate independently, but also to create a common visual environment and a space of real dynamic interactions.