This year’s eighth edition of the Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition “Dowody osobiste,” organized jointly by the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw and the WRO Art Center, is a continuation of the cooperation between universities with different models of media art education. The goal of the project is to exchange experiences in this field of study at eight public art schools in Poland: in Krakow, Warsaw, Szczecin, Lodz, Katowice, Poznan, Gdansk, and Wroclaw, as well as to promote graduates of the schools.
Work on the project began in early 2022 with a commission review of bachelor’s and master’s theses, which due to the ongoing pandemic, took place at all universities in a remote form. However, the presentation of selected works found its finale as the exhibition “Dowody osobiste” at WRO Art Center.
As in previous years, the Main Prize for the winner was funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. There will also be support from the editors of “Contemporary Lynx” magazine, who will award the selected artist by publishing their portfolio. This year we are also offering our viewers the opportunity to choose and honor their favourite work. The exhibition visitors will be able to vote for the best graduation project until June 8th. The Audience Award, funded by the Rectors of the universities participating in the Competition, will be announced during the exhibition closing on June 9th.
Works selected in this edition of the Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition are a commentary to building one’s own identity in the context of social rules. The exhibition “Dowody osobiste” is a presentation of works that are thematically and formally diverse, yet they share several aspects that are evident in the works of the young generation.
These are references to personal experiences that shape identity and become part of a broader social context and illustrate the range of attitudes manifest in culture. The change of life experience into creative experience allows for gaining distance to the raised topics and giving them a collective perspective. There is also a clear accent of personal involvement in political issues, references to individual rights and struggles with social pressure.
Noteworthy are threads relating to the relationship between the real and virtual worlds, based on different ways of their perception. We see formally diverse works: ones focused on studying individual tools but also multi-element installations. The artists express themselves using the language of various media tools, performance, documentary, or sculptural forms, searching for the adequacy of the manner of creative expression to the raised topics. The exhibition, combining all evidence of personal experience, points to the problems of a generation, attempts to discuss them, and approaches the need to build a new language for them.
This year’s project is also the time for evaluation of previous editions, discussion on the organizational formula and the need for potential changes. A conference meeting accompanying the 8th Media Art Best Diploma Competition, entitled Reconnaissance, with the participation of representatives of the universities involved in the project, will be a space for summaries and reflections.
Gdańsk / Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk:
Dominika Kluszczyk, Małgorzata Sikorska, Jarosław Czarnecki, Natalia Cyrzan, Piotr Stasiowski
Katowice / Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice:
Dominika Kluszczyk, Małgorzata Sikorska, Joanna Rzepka-Dziedzic, Agata Cukierska, Anna Lorenc
Kraków / Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow:
Dagmara Domagała, Malwina Hajduk-Kawalec, Michał Ostrowicki, Delfina Jałowik, Magda Ujma
Łódź / Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz:
Piotr Krajewski, Agnieszka Kubicka-Dzieduszycka, Agnieszka Pindera, Marcin Polak, Tomasz Załuski
Poznań / Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts in Poznan:
Dagmara Domagała, Lilianna Leń, Jagna Domżalska, Zofia Nierodzińska, Piotr Bosacki
Szczecin / Academy of Art in Szczecin:
Paweł Janicki, Malwina Hajduk-Kawalec, Stanisław Ruksza, Marlena Chybowska-Butler, Andrzej Wasilewski
Warszawa / Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw:
Paweł Janicki, Lilianna Leń, Anna Galas-Kosil, Magdalena Komornicka, Sławomir Ratajski
Wrocław / The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław:
Paweł Janicki, Agnieszka Kubicka-Dzieduszycka, Magdalena Kreis, Gosia Sobolewska, Agata Szuba
Apr 28, 2022 / Thu / 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
ASP Wrocław, Traugutta 19/21, room 410, 4th floor
organizers: Media Art Department
RECONNAISSANCE – conference meeting accompanying 8th Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition
Program of the meeting:
1. Presentation of the organizers about the previous editions of the Competition.
2. Panel discussion about the Competition – presentation of the academies:
– reception and evaluation of the Competition at individual universities and faculties,
– suggested changes in the formula of the selection of works representing the universities,
– suggestions for changes in the Best Media Arts Graduation Project Competitions’ formula.
3. Discussion of the impact of the socio-political situation on universities life.
Vote for the Audience Award, the result will be announced at the exhibition finale on June 9.
Contemporary Lynx Award: Krystyna Dobrzańska
Main Prize: Krystyna Dobrzańska
Yuriy Biley, Barbora Kundračíková, Robert Verch
As members of the international and interdisciplinary committee, we would like to highly appreciate the overall positive impression of this competition as well as the efforts of all involved. What we are seeing here is a generational statement which has the power to ask the right questions.
Art is too complex to be simply judged by the standards of competitive rhetoric. That is why before we will make our choice public, we would like to reflect upon the whole presentation which we find extraordinarily constructed and well-aimed. This wide spectrum is diverse but also internally coherent. The works selected do share a deeply personal background, they are all thought out and rooted in a socio-cultural and political context which is local and communal in a very sense of the word. On the other hand, they are succeeding in bringing us universal edification.
Starting with Alicja Klich’s project ART IS NO LONGER FOR ME, the question of the ability or requirement to fulfil one’s own potential arises. We find it courageous and highly self-critical of the system. The same argument applies to the VR-LAB by Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek which also shows us what is really the main positive of the art educational system if it allows these contra-positions to grow inside itself equally.
The first and utmost artistic claim, nevertheless, lies in balancing personal and shared experience. In this light, we want to appreciate the efforts made by Maria Furtacz SACRO SARCO. I INVITE YOU TO LEAVE thematizing highly problematic and burning questions about the limits of our very existence. And also the Monika Falkus SAY YES IN STYLE research project, standing difficult issues of persistent oppression rooted in our culture with much-needed sensitivity. In combination with Jakub Stępień’s MERBOYS, these works create a full spectrum based on the simplification of the symbolic gesture as a complicated and multilayered acronym. Thus the individual memory becomes a monumental expression of collective experience.
It lead us to the trio of works by Emilia Rodziewicz, Krystyna Dobrzańska, and Zuzanna Bodzoń. The jury appreciates Rodziewicz’s project JULKI_ON_BARRICADES.AVI reflecting burning questions of today’s Poland and value highly the personal braveness of the artist. The real quality of the piece is nevertheless in its ability to capture the main issues of the debate and make them universally applicable. In this sense also the BODY MAP by Dobrzańska is viewed, with the addition of a much-welcomed aspect of the sharing – possibly as another chapter of the same story.
The poetic conclusion is then offered by the VR project of Zuzanna Bodzoń, HYPERLOGICALLY, which perspective is almost detached – all the burning issues and contradictories connected with the living human world are viewed from a distant perspective. They are not less problematic, they are simply more open to appreciation and mental wondering.
As it seems to us, all the paths of art presented here somehow collide in the question of empowerment. They share the need to make oneself the narrator of one’s own story – while it clearly does not matter if this is a poetic or activistic approach towards nature, minorities, all those oppressed, the whole humankind or “just” oneself. The second obvious cornerstone is then the renewed art interest in being truly representative – to master and make full use of the ability to transform.
These exactly are the reasons why we have decided to award the prize of the 8TH BEST MEDIA ARTS GRADUATION PROJECTS COMPETITION to Krystyna Dobrzańska. We cherish her sensitivity, her modest approach and also the ability to include respectfully those who are part of the artistic process as rightful collaborators. The art is thus made in a naturally inclusive manner sharing the privilege of artistic literacy.