featuring: Karolina Freino, Liliana Piskorska, Aleksandra Sojak-Borodo, Natalia Wiśniewska
Elżbieta Jabłońska has earned an individual and important position on the Polish contemporary art scene, despite the fact she began her artistic activity relatively recently, at the end of the nineties. She mainly creates installations, photographs, and videos, holds performances and gets involved in space and time-based activities. She is an individual artist, somewhat rebellious and eluding all attempts to fit her work in the stream of socially engaged, participatory and critical art or classify it as feminist or postfeminist art.
While producing the exhibition Disappearing, the artist and curator took care of the shared space. They also took their time to exchange ideas, with the conversation recorded in a notebook accompanying the show. Ela says: “Disappearing is a multi-threaded exhibition that is not completely closed in time and space. The exhibit shown in the gallery is actually a substitute, an attempt to delineate the areas I am currently interested in – particularly my personal abandonment, which I have cultivated in my place by the Vistula for years.
You could say I have vanished by this river, that it has become my obsession, that this place has sucked me in. It is not easy to translate such state, or the landscape that invokes it, into a visual language. How to enclose the unlimited space of earth, sky and water? How to show the ongoing process of change?”
The new site-specific works prepared for the exhibition at TRAFO refer to a specific place – the 788th kilometer of the Vistula, where Jabłońska has lived with her family for the last ten years. They focus on her personal disappearance by the river, a purposeful resignation, perhaps doubt, on the shifting of activity into the area outside.
An important activity accompanying the exhibition is the inauguration of the residency program 788km. The artist makes her space by the Vistula, including a small studio house, available for the purposes of one-week residencies addressed to individuals dealing with art in the broad sense of the word. “Sharing” her place, she invites other artists to the title “disappearing”, dissolving by the river.
Likewise, Ela Jabłońska “shares” TRAFO space, inviting other artists to participate in the exhibition. Although the works of Karolina Freino, Liliana Piskorska, Aleksandra Sojak-Borodo, and Natalia Wiśniewska do not entirely correspond with the proposed theme, they significantly expand it, pushing the boundaries of interpretation. The invitation resulted from the need to share the place and time of the exhibition with other people. Remaining in the state of disappearance, we are constantly active, we perform, we work, we live, forgetting our time is running out daily.
The art of Ela Jabłońska reflects on the world around us and on ourselves – it is a reflection that carries a lot of humbleness and honesty towards the everyday, ordinary life. It is the “life” with capital “L” that Ela Jabłońska draws inspiration from. She creates “indoor” or practical art from seemingly trivial matters, things that are irrelevant, in a way invisible and transparent. She says “she is convinced that life is the most important thing in life”, something she always tries to remind the audience about.