Kunsthaus Baselland presents Agnieszka Brzezanska’s (*1972 in Gdansk, lives and works in Warsaw and Berlin) first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland, closing a cycle of works she first started in 2009.
For the first time, Cosmic Equation unites the works of this series, in parts shown in exhibitions like Venus Conjunct at KAMM Gallery in Berlin, 528 Hz at Karma International Gallery in Zurich, Galactic Resonance at Hotel Gallery in London, and Playlist, opened in March at the DAAD Gallery in Berlin. In her work, Agnieszka Brzezanska combines numerous media that stand equally side-by-side. She uses the means of painting, as well as those of photography, drawing, or film. While in painting she explores the themes of body, mind and perception by focusing on process, her photographs and drawings represent a faster and more spontaneous expression. The films can also be characterized as random or playfully staged recordings of activities and incidental discoveries related to her topics. The specific quality of the photographs, drawings and films is due to their directness, with technical perfection taking a back seat. Some of the films are recorded, for example, with an iPhone, a technical device that connects a whole generation in a completely new visual aesthetic.
Brzezanska draws upon many sources, such as physics, energy, DNA research, astronomy, without directly picturing or responding to one of the many theories currently under debate. She is aware of the wide range of scientific theories that open up new worlds of knowledge or reject them, and picks up on these studies and discussions to explore a general knowledge of what we may not be able to understand with the means of art.
She focuses on the cosmic order and the influence of planetary life on our existence, but also on the assertion found in New Age philosophy that the frequency of 528Hz, the Solfeggio-frequency, exercises a healing effect on the human DNA structure. The artist approaches these discussions with a number of heart-shaped paintings. In photographs and films, reflections and theoretical discussions about the heart are content and form giving. In Asia, one believes that thoughts are produced in the heart and not in the brain. Moreover, the artist tries to follow in her paintings and drawings a ‘natural’ gesture, which manifests itself mostly in spiral movements ultimately assembling into the shape of hearts. In the movie Heart-Play, we encounter a playful confrontation: two human figures (one is Agnieszka herself, the other Marek) play and romp with different red and black heart shapes in a room, accompanied by a specially composed piano piece by Marek Raczkowski, a Polish cartoonist.
In the series of works developed for the exhibition Venus Conjunct, the artist concentrated on the vast field of the invisible and unexplainable within the galactic system. Her paintings suggest sections of the sky, but simultaneously foreground the construction of this illusion that produced this impression. Her photographs record constellations, which she previously discovered and which by then only existed in secrecy, that create relations between the earth and the sky. Thus, the moon on a photograph could be a spherical street lamp that engrafts itself into a line-up of other lanterns. Just as well, the lights could be a duplication of the moon.
Her latest work Playlist, first presented at the DAAD Gallery in Berlin, consists of 39 Youtube- films that run side by side on multiple screens. Meditation guides in spectrum colors converge with a recording of research conferences and music videos with psychedelic shambling ornamentation. All the films deal directly or indirectly with the gray areas of science, with supernatural powers and philosophies. For Brzezanska, Playlist is a kind of reference list, which points to the different systems of knowledge and wisdom she uses.
The exhibition title Cosmic Equation (dt. kosmisches Gleichgewicht) recalls the album of the same name by American experimental jazz musician Sun Ra. But this reference also suggests the fact that Brzezanska’s oeuvre of the past years, for the first time, comes together in some kind of ‘balance’.
Text by Sabine Schaschl