Someone proposed the timeline–to meet in the past–’86 and then in the future. Don’t remember the exact coordinates. Perception was shifting, changing, stretching, no longer able to communicate. We were still talking. Using gestures as language. Rhythmic movements of wizards producing magic and soup, in the vastness of the shared energy.
All the images from witches to churches, coders, queens, mothers, cast bronze appendages, screens, tablets, phones, photo frames, clay structures, and superheroines like Xena were passing by, juicing Barbie DNA with ancestral purification in accelerating decelerating macabre. Music was repeatedly saying: respect. This time the orgasmic sensations in a shared peeing ceremony were very intense.
On her phone she had an app installed with white noise. Vagina was sending signals about what’s good and what’s bad through the active process of digging, firing, shaping feminist narratives. A soup out of videos, Barbies, mythologies, mushrooms, clay, leaves and words, and pour it all on the walls.
The device at the centre of the exhibition is a “Video Girl” Barbie doll. It is a 2010 special edition Barbie with a video camera and playback unit embedded in its body; a device that allows for the expression of vulnerability, humour, playfulness, and transversality. Czyżyk’s work plays with the concept of HAL–a fictional AI from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey–by proposing a reimagined, non-male version of the character in the form of Athena Barbie.
Contributors from around the world received their own “Video Girl” from the artist to film their unique viewpoints, stories and personal perspectives of the times we are living in. Their contributions have been transformed from narrative single channel film into one organic piece, BOdyssey archive (2016-2022)—a memory substance.
The archive includes a video, This is cosmic, recorded in Kiev in 2017 and edited in 2022. It features artists and activists who are fighting for Ukraine. To support them, a printed screenshot from the video is available for purchase at the gallery: all proceeds from the sale will be sent to artists, activists and organisations in Ukraine.
Monika Czyżyk is a visual artist and filmmaker living and working in Helsinki, Finland. She primarily works with moving image in the context of experimental documentaries and socially engaged projects. Czyżyk holds degrees from The Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland and Helsinki University of the Arts – The Academy of Fine Arts, Finland. Her work has been shown internationally in group and solo exhibitions including Bilsart, Istanbul, Turkey; Myymälä2 Gallery, Helsinki, Finland; Stroboskop Art Space, Warsaw, Poland; Centre for Contemporary Art Łaźnia, Gdańsk, Poland; Yan Huang Art Museum, Beijing, China, and New Media Society, Tehran, Iran. Her videos have been screened at Ann Arbor film Festival, Michigan, USA; WRO 2017 Biennale: DRAFT SYSTEMS, Wrocław, Poland, UnionDocs, New York, USA; November Film Festival, London, UK; EMAP 2016: The 9th Ewha International Media Art Presentation, Seoul, Korea, and III Festival Videoarte nodoCCS, Caracas, Venezuela. In 2020 and 2021 Czyżyk’s projects have been supported by the Kone Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Memory Substance Juicing Barbie DNA with Ancestral Purification in Accelerating Decelerating Macabre
1–29 April 2022