Luna Voss Studios
Three months had passed since moving here, and I still hadn’t gone to an exhibition in Warsaw, barely made any friends and basically still had no social life. I decided something had to change and what better opportunity for change then to go to Karolina Wojtas’ show at Galeria Naga.
I didn’t know what to expect from the show but I was presuming I wouldn’t like it. “I was an only child until I was 13 years old. Whenever my parents asked about siblings, I would tell them 'I will take an ax, kill that kid, and then eat it.' Finally, he appeared and we started our war.” Karolina Wojtas writes in her artist’s statement.
In Poland domestic violence is taken much more lightly than in Britain and as a survivor, I was hoping this wasn’t an attempt to normalise it but an interesting exploration of the intense love-hate emotions between siblings. Going was the only way to find out.
The gallery was in a flat in a residential area and the show had a very intimate feel to it. In fact everyone apart from me knew each other.
The photographs were not simply hung on the walls, but the viewer was forced to interact. The choice was between small mounted versions of photographs in wooden holders or life-size fabric posters on the wall that one had to flip through to get through. An intimate topic the audience was forced to get intimate with.
And when it came to the official introduction I could see the genuine affection between Karolina and her little brother as she showed him to us on video link over her phone, and they joked about the different ways they would kill each other.
Finally. I got it. It was pure fun. Just her and her little brother having fun between themselves as he posed for her carefully composed photographs, exploring different ranges of gruesomeness in a naive child-like manner.
I grabbed another beer and got talking to Karolina’s friends. I met different art students and graduates of Poland we got chatting about what to expect.
With this overload of information I even started to question my decision to study art in Poland.
As I got home two facts remained. I would keep painting. I would check out galeria Naga again.