Paulina Komorowska-Birger

Baseline is a site-specific installation staged at the University of Zielona Góra’s Rektorat Gallery. The existing floor, of smooth, shiny stone, has been covered with concrete, radically transforming the gallery space. The space’s basic function as an exhibition venue is hinted at by the title: the floor becomes neutral, turning the whole room into a classic white cube. The artist has performed a total gesture, seemingly technical, but one that nevertheless serves as a clear-cut and uncompromising message, appropriating the place for art, and for art only. Concrete, a modernist material, emphasizes the idea of the indispensability of places where artistic freedom can be fully enjoyed. The work fits in with the artist’s practice of combining existing objects with glass, thereby highlighting the fragility of existence through the frailty of the material. Here she shields an art place with a thin layer of concrete, while at the same time granting art (and only it) the privilege of exclusivity.

Paulina Komorowska-Birger studied in the Faculty of Ceramics and Glass of the State College of Fine Arts (today the Academy of Fine Arts) in Wrocław from 1985, graduating in 1990. Promoted to Professor of Arts in 2012. She has worked at the University of Zielona Góra since 1992, including as Chair of Art and Visual Culture in the Faculty of Arts (2005-2008), Deputy Dean for Student Affairs (2008-2012), and director of the Institute of Visual Arts there (2015-2016 and again since 2019). She currently teaches an Art Glass course and a Drawing and Intermedia course in the Institute of Visual Arts of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zielona Góra.

Author of some twenty solo shows, she has also participated in about sixty group exhibitions. Her works are held in the collections of institutions such as the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, the National Museum, Poznań, the Lubusz Land Museum, Zielona Góra, or the Lubuska Zachęta Sztuki Współczesnej, and in private collections. She makes installations and objects using unique glass-working techniques.