Folded steel fire escapes of American skyscrapers, deformed spiral staircases that lead nowhere, crumpled fences, including concrete anchoring or entire lattice walls with steel gates, which seem to be anthropomorphically shaped and mere hanging dysfunctional referents of their original purpose. Monika Sosnowska’s large-scale installations seem familiar and yet strange, achieving an aesthetic uniqueness in the context of institutional art through the manipulation and deformation of steel girders, concrete, pipes and other building materials. Sosnowska appropriates the characteristics of these materials by bending, tugging, stretching and breaking them after their production, thus reducing their function as building components to absurdity.
Sosnowska’s work reflects her preoccupation with architecture and its constituent elements, but also with the disconcerting element of our daily experience and perception. She develops a very individual, in the best sense recognizable and reproducible formal language, whose core elements address tendencies of Polish Constructivism of the 1930s, the international phenomena of minimalist and conceptual art of the 1950s and 1960s and the modernist architecture of Eastern Europe in their contrasts and contradictions. Buildings are understood as places of experience, places of memory, with all their historical, political, psychological and anthropological markings inflicted on architecture over time.
Sosnowska was born in Ryki, Poland, in 1972. She experienced the change of her country’s political system from communism to democracy and the strong social impact of this transformation. In 2003, she gained international acclaim with her work The Corridor, an intervention at the Arsenale exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennale. Four years later, Sosnowska represented Poland at the 52nd Venice Biennale with the monumental installation 1:1.
A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.
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