April 10, 2008

Ania Molska @ 5th Berlin Biennial, 2008

Filed under: Abstraction,Absurdism,Berlin Biennial 5,Society,The Body — Graham Coulter-Smith @ 7:37 am

Ania Molska, W=F*s (work), 2008, special thanks to Leszek Molski, Agata Pietrasik; P=W:t (power), 2007-2008, special thanks to Annna Barlik, Lukasz Kosela, Jonas Zagorskas. Video projections 9min each.Ania Molska’s two video projections W=F*s (work), 2008, and P=W:t (power), 2007-2008 were projected onto corner walls in the KW Institute so as to function as a single video installation. It was a very effective combination.

Both videos can be classed as absurdist and so flitting one’s gaze between the two was highly sympathetic. W=F*s (work) shows a group of workers set the task of erecting a scupture made of scaffolding. What is interesting is that the object of attention is not the “sculpture” but the men themselves. Here we see the power of video to portray human activity which contrasts starkly with the vapid abstraction of the “sculpture”.  The workmen are refreshing in their coarseness, refreshing that is in the context of fine art which can be overly precious and  pretentious. The men swear, joke laugh and display a camaraderie which is very attractive: although, I entirely accept Priska Streit’s valuable comments made below.

On the other screen we see a completely abstract video which synchronises with the first due to its absurdism. P=W:t (power) shows an upside-down view of a squash court filled with tennis balls which have been painted white no doubt to co-ordinate with the red markings of the court.  The  tennis balls are in motion  due to an invisible force: which is to say this video is actually a stop-motion animation. The piece also gains visual interest by zooming in and out from balls to court. One can also perceive resonances between the geometry of the scaffolding sculpture and the markings on the squash court as framed by the video camera.

I can’t find very much information on Molska on the web, whereas most of the artists in this Berlin Biennial have rather impressive commercial galleries. This is no doubt because they produce objects which, however jejune,  can be traded  by an art market hungry for a new crop of “geniuses”.  In my opinion set against the largely boring objects and paintings on display in this Biennial, Molska’s absurdist videos are outstandingly good.


  1. The video “work” of Ania Molska is the absolute best I’ve seen for a long time. As a female artist (sculptor) I look at this work in a bit different way. 8 workmen are paid from a female artist to build up a sculpture, looking like a part of a stage. After building up this structure under bad weather condition the workmen standing on the platform and nevertheless looking both proud and unsecured about the sense of their work. Working men normally don’t get very often in touch with art. But artist get very often in touch with them. To be honest, sometimes it is hard to endure there jokes and comments about our work. Even if we know they just joke because we don’t give them the time and possibility to understand why we are busy with such strange or silly things. Or is it a typical gender problem that workmen joke about our “work“witch gets in touch with their business? Why I love this work is because of the highly ironic retribution of the endured jokes. I missed the beginning of the video and saw it at the end. I can’t stop smiling as one of the workmen calls the artist a “bitch”.

    Comment by Priska Streit — May 27, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  2. Comment to Priska comment – he does not call the artist “bitch”, as the word kurva means only the same as the word “shit”, no more, in the common language of the everyday

    Comment by ca — February 19, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress