Progress includes a selection of five video works created by the acclaimed multimedia artist Karolina Breguła in recent years. Through her practice, the Polish artist orchestrates more or less fictitious scenarios in which the concept of art becomes the main focus. Furthermore, the tactics of incorporating in the narratives different types of audiences, related or not to the art world, reveals a genuine interest in exploring a wide spectrum of values that art can enhance.
The variety of situations created by the artist compels the public to reconsider its take on art in post-postmodern times, thus trying to institute progress. On a general level, progress is the element that keeps us moving, that motivates and creates a sense of purpose. But as much as we depend on innovation, we cannot break free from the state of fear connected to it. Either we find ourselves stranded to the past or we feel comfortable with the present, we always find motives to maintain a status quo.
In arts we tackle the same issues, which became more and more controversial at the break of the 20th century, igniting from the ambivalence of the solutions proposed: do we deny the history, do we bury the cultural heritage or do we draw from it to create a new art? These are some of the questions that Karolina Breguła addresses through her work, creating not answers but different perspectives on the matter.
This considered, the layout of the exhibition is purposefully constructed to trigger a reflective state around concepts imbued in her videos, such as culture, memory, innovation, mediocrity, revolution. We are either put in the position to evaluate our understanding of art, presented with a situation in which art is in danger of being eliminated from the community, or we get to contemplate on the purpose of the artist as a buffer between society and politics. The different layers perceptively created by the artist do not elude the message, quite the opposite, help us address the question of progress, how we attain it and if there is such a thing as a gridlock.
The narrative of the exhibition is enhanced by the string of ideas that connects the five videos, even though they were created on a span of 5 years, and it grows in meaning as we move from one video to another. First we are stimulated to reconsider our relation to art in I Don’t Understand, we imagine the possible resorts to institute change in The Offence and Fire-Followers, but at the same time trying not to overlook the importance and impact of art on social and institutional levels in The Soup and Leaving.
Text by Teodora Dinu, curator