Agnieszka Kalinowska

(b. 1971, lives in Warsaw) graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. An author of videos, video installations, objects, sculptures, drawings, and photographs, Kalinowska’s art works through primal emotions and instincts rooted in the collective unconscious. The artist is particularly interested in repressed contents and mechanisms, touching, in a condensed, abstract way, upon invisible power structures, abuses, and social inequalities.

The source of inspiration for the creation of the work was the iconography of the first nations of America related to various aspects of war, power, strength, wisdom, and respect for nature. This symbolism evokes rituals that helped people to survive. The artist created the title slogan during a long process of braiding and hand-dyeing the string. She contrastingly combined this laborious, artisanal technique with the contemporary, conceptual specificity of the text. The word “power” in English, depending on the context, can mean both the liberating force, physical power, energy, and power imposed on others (violence). Looped in time, ambiguous work touches both creative and destructive manifestations of the use of force. Despite the drastic changes in civilization and the strength of the intellect, man remains a part of nature, and the violence they use against it leads to its destruction. This violence is also an expression of people being cut off from the life-giving force of survival.

Rituals of Power, 2021, sculpture, paper string, courtesy of the artist and BWA Warszawa gallery, Warsaw


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