Justyna Gorowska is a performance artist whose practice is focused reconciliation of the post-humanistic condition. Her practice explores a new model of living where humanity can evolve past its privileged place in the universe, where the individual can become one with her reality, as the artist poetically describes, “as water in water.” Delicate, precious objects, videos, installations and performances are founded upon the belief that culture creates humans, that culture is but another level of nature created in evolution. Art is biological. Obsessed with creation of taut emotions in her viewers, Gorowska uniquely finds the precise movements and actions to tease out and control the viewer’s sensitivity, reminding us of our most primal and perhaps, evolved desires. The bedrock of existence for all life is different than the basis for survival. There is no violence, there is no competition for resources because her goal is to reconstruct a “lost vision of the world.” She insists we should reinterpret what it means to be human when we think that culture is the antithesis of nature, that which seems wild, uncivilized, or depraved. For her, ethically, all living, sentient beings are part of culture.
Gorowska lists Pawel Althamer, Rebecca Horn, Eduardo Kac, and Joseph Beuys as inspiration in conjunction with Gilles Deleuze and Donna Haraway. If reality has an effect on us, as Deleuze postulates, then we have an effect on reality through the power of desire. Desire is that catalyst which gives an individual the power to change. Positive creative thoughts can have a positive impact in the world. Her performances haunt. They linger with our psyche but theoretical underpinnings prove rigorous methodologies of exploration. Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto taught us that endeavors such as feminism and material are meant to “[protect] one from the moral majority within” but paradoxically insist on the need for community. It is a contradiction that doesn’t resolve into greater wholes. Haraway’s concept of the cyborg argues for society to have a different narrative from the western Freudian world that we live in now. For the artist, new ontologies mean new realities. Short, lyrical, gestures allow us to reexamine our understanding of the physicality of our being in relation to all of life.
In 2015, CYDONIA is proud to mount Justyna Gorowska’s first solo exhibition in North America: FWJG. Gorowska recalls her first encounter with Francesca Woodman in 2008 in Munich. Woodman’s artistic notions of beauty, her unique, vestal-like vision of her body within the geometry of life resonated with Gorowska. She saw her own soul mirrored in the American legend. Gorowska recreated and restaged Woodman’s prints, drawing upon what she felt where deep-rooted emotional considerations she shared with Woodman. FWJG celebrates femininity without entering into discourses about feminism, politics, or sexuality. The artist navigates a space our current culture forgets:how special it is to be female without an agenda, what it is to examine the body of a woman, to show the female body without ownership, exploitation, without being an object to be consumed. The artist is unaware of her body as the other, as weak, as somehow inferior or different. Each moment is a conscious, conscientious curious study. Her own examinations never feel unique to herself; they are universal to all.
Justyna Gorowska has an MFA and Bachelors in Intermedia from Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. She has exhibited and performed widely throughout Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy, Israel, Norway, Iceland, Bosnia, Hungary, Romania, and Indonesia. The artist is a four-time recipient of scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture. In 2010, she won the Samsung Art Master award, a prestigious prize reserved for very brightest stars in Poland. In 2013, Gorowska studied Kecak dance under famed choreographer I Nyoman Cerita in Indonesia, which was one of the inspirations for most recent solo show The Girl Who Married a Volcano, on view February-March 2015 at lokal_30 gallery in Warsaw, Poland. The artist lives and works in Poland.