PLUG IN: ESPRIT DE CORPS

Exhibition:

November 14, 2014 - January 30, 2015

Opening:

Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Curator:

Justyna Werbel

Finissage: January 30, 2015 at 7 p.m.

The exhibition is presented as the 4th edition of PLUG IN: PROJECT ROOM, an experimental space at TRAFO dedicated to Polish and international emerging artists. "Esprit de corps (spirit of the body) is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Alexander H. Leighton In 2013, Natalia Szostak was invited to participate in an art project in Studio M13 in Amsterdam, where she met with several international artists. The project explored the term "soma", coined by the American philosopher Richard Shusterman. "Soma" is a term used to describe 'mind' belonging to 'body', being one, as distinct from dichotomy of a 'body' and a 'mind' or negative associations of 'flesh'. From this perspective the indissolubility of body and mind creates all experiences, including philosophical interpretation, which occurs 'through' the body. Thus development of body awareness becomes a starting point and an essential element of any critical consideration. Szostak with the assistance of artist Michał Jurys constructed an enclosed space within the Amsterdam residency studio, which previously functioned as a prayer hall. Once the installation was completed, she invited both artists and the visiting public to participate by posing a statement, a form of instruction: “stay in the room as long as you can keep subjective thoughts away from your mind”. The documentation and reconstruction of this 2013 encounter in Amsterdam has been meticulously and thoughtfully installed into the TRAFO PLUG IN: PROJECT ROOM. This installation serves to construct a parallel between participatory action and crossing a literal threshold into a place where art can be experienced directly and without disturbances providing the viewer with a new way of perceiving time and space. Ideas of duration, presence, stillness and self-reflective experience have been considered. From the 'Medicine Buddha' Lapis Lazuli blue wall, to the formal instructions confronting the audience, Szostak's trade is to carefully acknowledge the process through which the audience may acquire insight and become part of the work. Esprit de corps is yet another example of Szostak‘s thoughtful ability to use the body as a topic of exploration while cleverly capturing its many manifestations. A comprehensive programme of educational activities for children and adults is also on offer to accompany this exhibition. Natalia Szostak was born in 1980 in Szczecin, Poland. Between 1999-2009 she lived in Paris, San Francisco, and Brooklyn, New York. Currently she lives and works in Szczecin. Natalia Szostak is a visual artist. She received a BA in painting from San Francisco State University and an MA in graphic arts from the Szczecin Academy of Art. Winner of the 2009 Emerging Artist Special Award at the International Art Competition held by X-Power Gallery in Los Angeles and the Award from the President of the City of Szczecin for exceptional artistic achievements in 2013. Two-time recipient of the Artist Scholarship of the City of Szczecin. She is the founder of the independent project Platerøwka, whose main objective is to promote art outside the traditional gallery and museum structure. Since September 2014 she works as Assistant at the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Szczecin Academy of Art. Her work has been shown in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, UK, Ireland, the US, Israel and Lithuania. The nonmaterial dimension of art and its unique communicative impact are the main areas of her interest. www.nataliaszostak.com www.facebook.com/plater92

———— TRAFO PLUG IN: PROJECT ROOM has been developed to run as an experimental space dedicated to both local and international emerging artists. PLUG IN aspires to develop Szczecins cultural ecology, facilitating the commission and premiere of new works and presenting a diverse array of artists working across and between but not limited to the disciplines of sound, video, performance, sculpture installation, photography and literature. Program outline: Emerging artists will be asked to utilize the 270x 640 cm space to their specific craft. This will follow an official vernissage, where the artist will have the opportunity to directly communicate their work.

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