The project was inspired by an unusual encounter with animals. While breeding cows in urban space is not a mainstream activity, Karolina Babińska came across such scenery while exploring the outskirts of her family residential area in Szczecin – Dąbie. How to explain cows’ presence in the urban landscape? Or how did the artist want to interpret the situation? The relationship between people and animals she had observed allowed her to project visions of a possible creation of a new community, a utopia of an interspecies partnership. Originally raising enthusiasm, the concept underwent a quick verification. Despite the need for a dream about the unity of the human and animal worlds, there are economic factors and inequalities underlying the above alliance.
It was the beginning of the process through which the artist has searched for narratives and visuals that give meaning to events, feelings, people and situations. The concept has been expanded to include the search for satisfaction in life, work, the theme of human communities and symbiosis with nature. Satisfaction is elusive, because reality does not conform to imagination and desires. Is it possible to stay active beyond the scheme of satisfying individual needs? Are altruistic actions possible for the environment, animals, community? What are the (real) motivations behind them? And will their fulfillment bring satisfaction, or is it just a warm-up in the ceaseless run on the hedonic treadmill?
The works and installations are presented in a non-obvious way. Karolina Babińska imposes no limits on herself or the viewers – her work is subject to an ongoing evolution, it is not possible to enclose it within one category or schematic description. The artist understands the presence and autonomy of the recipients in the process of perception and assignment of the final (individual) meaning. She builds the structure of her exhibition using elements and treatments that leave the viewers surprised. The signposts in the project are phrases taken from online forums and websites (including those telling about the life of celebrities in the countryside), quotes from conversations and Thomas Mor’s Utopia.
What is enough to create an image, a story that will ease our journey through everyday life? Can you describe the discrepancy between utopian visions and real-life limitations? Is it possible to look at the processuality of the above without limiting the phenomenon to the word “disappointment”? The need for meaning, even the most prosaic one, is so great that we instinctively look for “stories” that help us interpretively “close” the situations in which we find ourselves. We choose “falsehood”, “sweet little lies” for lack of another point of reference. In all the semantic, interpretative and discursive confusion, will anyone “make a good deal”? Who will win and will there be a winner at all? The story at the heart of the project is the most beautiful thing. But is it true?
Karolina Babińska graduated from the Academy of Art in Szczecin. She works with several different media.