From the very start of her artistic endeavors, Julita Wójcik has made simple actions and prosaic activities the foundation of her creative strategy. Her straightforward experiments and observations of everyday situations help the artist both to define her visual language, but also to determine the socio-economic space and the role that the artist plays within it. It is through such seemingly simple means that many of her artworks ultimately attain their subversive character. A Sunday Afternoon is an exhibition-essay consisting of a set of works created between 2004–2007 that act as visual sketches, where the main tension is related not to the transgression of certain boundaries, but to the juxtaposition of things and activities that are, quite simply, as ordinary as can be. The title of the exhibition brings to mind the idyllic imagery of Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884). However, Julita Wójcik's idyll only runs skin-deep. The dominant narrative of her exhibition is based on dystopia. This is especially evident in her video works, resembling a sort of cinéma vérité cast in the spirit of Facebook Live, as glimpsed in the video diptych A Sunday Afternoon in Belo Horizonte. The projection, consisting of two short films, each under a minute long, draw viewers into idyllic scenes of the Brazilian metropolis, while underlining the deep, post-colonial divisions still at work within Brazilian society. The project does not tell a story about an exotic journey, but it presents, rather, a series of artefacts, knitted portraits, actions performed in front of a camera, and objects – a documentation of activities in the public space that lead the viewer to what's happening in the "here and now" by sparking a plethora of questions... To what extent is our Central European social structure distinct from that of post-colonial Brazil? Did we not go too far in negating Poland's communist reality post-1989? Did we not abandon, in the process, positive social change brought about by post-war emancipation and modernization that have since become part of our identity? Why do we allow others to undermine our faith in the myth of modernity? Have we cast away the goal of building an egalitarian society as embodied, for example, in modernist architecture and urban planning, and labor law legislation? Have we adopted, instead, a hyper- consumerist economic neoliberalism, which has been combined with an increasingly conservative turn in recent years? Are we not heading towards a replication of outdated feudal hierarchies within our social structure, creating divisions and stratifications similar to those that we see across the majority of post-colonial countries? The artworks of A Sunday Afternoon appear to be asking, or perhaps, raising the alarm: Will we be capable of starting from scratch in the wake of the regressive tendencies ushered in by the social and political movements of today?
Media Patronage: Magazyn Szum, Radio Gdańsk, In your Pocket, Trójmiasto.pl, Pomorskie.eu, Magazyn Prestiż Drawing: Julita Wójcik
Place: National Gallery of Art
Date:01.03 - 22.04, 19:30 - 19:00
Hour: 19:30 - 19:00
Tickets: 1-10 zl (Karta Sopocka: 5 zł)
Address: Plac Zdrojowy 2, 81-720 Sopot
Organizer: National Gallery of Art