The exhibition ‘Common Ground’ originates from spatial observations pursued by Zuza Golińska in the recent months in the cities of London, Warsaw and Gdańsk, among other places. Using field research, the artist analyses the language and functionality of forms encountered in public space with a focus on delineating territories and borders in urban space, architecture and housing estates. Golińska tests the conditions in which spatial perception of the city changes in the course of an extremely long and exhausting walk. Physical effort opens up a different perception and interpretation of the surrounding situations. Concentration allows one to notice the hitherto overlooked details and elements of reality.
The analysis pursued by the artist begins in the streets and several housing estates around Central London. During her cyclical walks, Golińska searches for unobvious examples of architecture and space on the premises of the estates, and captures them with her cell phone camera. The artist takes interest in the phenomenon of residential architecture, such as Robin Hood Gardens designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, the Barbican immersed in greenery, and the wave-shaped block in the area of Przymorze in Gdańsk. It is not their utopian underpinning that the artist finds so appealing, but the seemingly imperceptible ways of building common spaces, communication, infrastructure and equipment, as well as unobvious functionality. What is more, in her installation Golińska refers to the typology of defensive architecture, which is gaining ubiquity in the public space of large cities. The artist analyses the potential role of users imposed by such architecture and regards its elements as found objects.
The artist’s new work bears reference to her previous spatial projects, which resulted from the process of recognition and individual interpretation of characteristic spatial features, exemplified by architectural elements that serve security functions and render unrestrained use of public areas impossible. ‘Common Ground’ is a continuation of a documentary cycle published on the artist’s blog, which accompanies the exhibition. It also builds on the themes addressed in her previous projects, such as ‘Run-Up’ (2015), shown in the post-industrial complex Dom Słowa Polskiego in Warsaw as Golińska’s diploma work at the Studio of Spatial Activities of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and ‘Brilliant Blue’ (2015), exhibited on the top floor of the abandoned department store Alfa in Poznań.
The exhibition is accompanied with a publication featuring the documentation of the walks realised by the artist, interviews and texts by the artist, Romuald Demidenko and Anda Rottenberg.
Zuza Golińska (1990, Gdańsk)
Graduate of the Studio of Painting Space run by Leon Tarasewicz and Paweł Susid at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2013). In 2015, the artist completed her Master’s degree at Mirosław Bałka’s Studio of Spatial Activities. Her theoretical Master’s Thesis was supervised by Anda Rottenberg. Her installation entitled Run-up was presented in Dom Słowa Polskiego in Warsaw, Heiligenkreuzerhof in Vienna and Národní galerie in Prague. In 2014, Golińska was shortlisted for the Hestia Artistic Journey Award and received the first prize of the Gdańsk Art Biennale. Participant of many group exhibitions, such as the Polish-Swedish project S-NOW at the inauguration of the European Capital of Culture in Umeå, and the four-week exhibition cycle No Yawning #1 #2 #3 at Nowy Teatr in Warsaw. Holder of a scholarship awarded for outstanding achievements by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2014). In 2015, Golińska was nominated for the StartPoint Prize, a European award for young artists. In 2016, she was awarded a scholarship of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Lives and works in Warsaw.
Gdańska Galeria Miejska 1
Zuza Golińska — Common Ground
Curated by: Romuald Demidenko
Gdańsk City Gallery 1, Piwna 27/29