Opened on Friday, the 18th of November, at SPLATTERPOOL ARTSPACE in Brooklyn NY, BODY OF WORK is the first solo exhibition in the United States by the Polish artist Karol Radziszewski.
BODY OF WORK, with the support of Residency Unlimited and the Polish Cultural Institute, featured the videos Ready 2 Die (2009) and Backstage (2011).
Ready 2 Die is a black and white video record of the performance in the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz (PL) in 2009. Addressing to the male nude tradition in the history of art, “Ready 2 Die” turns the audience into an hungry voyeur, staring at the image of a naked male model, posing for the artist, transmitted live in the Museum’s space.
Backstage is a video made at The Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery in Krakow where the artist has invited, by an open call, a group of young men to interact with him to the making-up of the project.
Backstage is a video documentation of casting sessions: Radziszewski interviews each young man, around the idea of shame, exhibitionism and voyeurism. Whilst talking with his models, Karol invites them to gradually undress, in order to examine how people are willing to engage in the art contest and their feelings of appearing naked in art venues, being aware of someone’s watching.
Manipulating and driving the viewer’s gaze into the analysis of performance and body art of the 70s, by a strong conceptual attitude Radziszewski questions the idea of masculinity in the contemporary society. Radziszewski’s work comes out in a society where traces of homophobia, phallocentrism, racism and sexism, all issues that have characterized the modernism age, are back. The idea of masculinity comes together with the idea of metrosexuality, that outbreaks also in the United States in the 90’s: the idea of Sport and the Athlete-body as the only way to save the weak male from the effeminate attitude (so as it was in the Fascist era in Italy): the idea of Military, War and Fight (see at this point “Fag-Fighters”, Karol Radziszewski 2007).
Born in Bialystok (Poland) in 1980, Karol lives in Warsaw where he works as non-media-specific artist (he works with video, performance, installation, painting, photography), as curator and author of interdisciplinary projects and, last but not least, he is Editor-in-chief of “DIK Fagazine”.