Barbara Kapusta – The Giant


The Giant

„Just as the miniature presents us with an analogical mode of thought, a mode which matches world within world, so does the gigantic present an analogical mode of thought, world without world. Both involve the selection of elements that will be transformed and displayed in an exaggerated relation to the social construction of reality. But while the miniature represents a mental world of proportion, control, and balance, the gigantic presents a physical world of disorder and disproportion. „

–Susan Stewarts, On Longing:  Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic the Souvenir, the Collection

The Giant is a partial body: limbs, eyes and hybrid augmented body parts are scattered on the floor, forming groups and alliances, their details and functions overemphasised by the use of defamiliarisation, exaggeration and augmentation.

Punctuating the gatherings are large, oversized speech bubbles, reciting sentences from a text written by Barbara Kapusta.

Kapusta’s protagonist(s) are one and are many, they are parts obscuring the centre, the partial body that speaks for a whole that cannot or does not want to be imagined as one. They speak simultaneously to the viewer, their language teetering between threat and caress, they address political and social urgencies that are distilled out of an observation of the contemporary social and political fabric.

The gigantic enters Kapusta’s work as a figure of thought that allows to imagine “a world without a world” and dislocates discourses utilised to talk about communities, societies and language. In a hemisphere where the political landscape has drastically changed and gave way to a fascist surge, Kapusta’s protagonists ask how to imagine future societies, what tools or thought experiments we have left or have to invent to fully imagine an otherness.

“Ultimately Dangerous bodies should be about empathy, solidarity. How far are we able to imagine other body’s needs and desires? Whom and how many can we be empathic with? Whom do we define as being valued enough for our solidarity?
The partial and the gigantic demand a living with, engagement and taking part. Becoming a part and entanglement. The gigantic places the spectator within the event, moving inside the event that suddenly is all around her*him.”