Priska C. Juschka Fine Art
is pleased to present Paweł Wojtasik
's Nine Gates, his first solo exhibition at the gallery, a 15 minute, single channel, HD video with sound, inspired by Les Neuf Portes De Ton Corps
(The Nine Gates of Your Body
), a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire, written while he was serving in World War I and dedicated to his lover, Madeleine Pagès.
Wojtasik's Nine Gates explores the possibility of transcendence through sexual passion: averting the gaze from the objectification of the other, the female body or the obscure enemy, to the vast and microscopic details of the body unknown to the viewer, becoming a meditation on love beyond definition.
Exposing close-up images of all openings of the female body, Wojtasik's camera, while moving slowly, searches and probes the orifices described by Apollinaire, enhanced by size and visual clarity, thus enabling a stunningly direct and visceral intimate gaze onto and into these zones of the body. Deliberately interlocking anatomy and pornography, Wojtasik reflects through sensuous camera work and careful editing the question of beauty within the context of the human condition, by examining the operations of desire in the act of looking.
Wojtasik's Nine Gates boldly addresses the nature of love and visuality by using the body as a portal, overcoming the raw reality of the visible and directing the viewer toward the implications of perception superseding actuality by entering the realm of fantasy and ultimately reinstating a universal polymorphous state of bliss.
Paweł Wojtasik was born in Łódź, Poland, and lived in Tunisia before immigrating to the United States. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Wojtasik received an MFA from Yale University in 1996. From 1998 until 2000 he was a resident at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Buddhist monastery in upstate New York. Wojtasik's internationally recognized videos and video installations are visionary and poetic reflections on our environment and culture. His video The Aquarium (2006) deals with the destruction of the oceans; while his 360° panoramic video installation Below Sea Level (2009-2011), with soundscape by Stephen Vitiello, concerns the plight of New Orleans, also examined in Next Atlantis (2010), with music by Sebastian Currier. Next Altantis premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City in January 2010. Below Sea Level was presented at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, MA in 2009-2010. Later this year, it will be part of Prospect.2 Biennial (October 22, 2011 – January 29, 2012). Wojtasik's video Pigs (2010) was included in Views from the Avant-Garde, a part of the 2010 New York Film Festival, and at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival. The video had its Asian premiere in March 2011 at the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prize in the short film category. Wojtasik's work has also been shown at PS1/MoMA, Long Island City, NY; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; The Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; the Flaherty Film Seminar, NY, among others. A recipient of a NYSCA individual artist grant twice, Wojtasik was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for 2012.