Piotr KurkaThe Movie 20 – 29.02.2020
I was first spurred to work on The Movie by a photograph which I found in the archives of the city of Butte, Montana (USA). It shows two cameramen and dates back to the 1930s. What fascinated me about this photo was the 180-degree turn of the observer and pointing the camera at the source of the light, which is the basic medium of motion pictures known as film.
Is there anything more beautiful than a “turn towards the source”? It sounds almost like Rilke! However, this “almost” holds an observation of crucial significance because, in an era dominated by surveillance, this turn takes on a menacing meaning, and mutual observation is becoming an obsession and a curse for those who have revealed some of their secrets with the help of light traps.
The Movie deals with the essence of film as a medium, the phenomenon of mutual observation, memory viewed in the form of a cinema projection; it is about illumination and projection, how strong our childhood memories are and how they resurface in the least expected moments, how a difference and repetition affect the collective sacrificial mechanism, how the cinematographic features of events and situations are viewed as a mimetic ritual, how the figure of the Other is comprised of primeval mechanisms present across the spectrum of human and non-human existence. It is a movie about illumination, overexposure, snow-blindness and expulsion.
Piotr Kurka (born in 1958) is a Full Professor, the head of the Studio of Intermedia Actions & Photography at the Faculty of Media at the University of the Arts in Poznań. He earned his diploma in painting at the State University of Fine Arts in Poznań (1982) under Professor Jerzy Kałucki. He works with sculpture, photography and drawing. He also makes experimental films and large-format spatial arrangements. A co-creator of the legendary group Koło Klipsa, he has participated in over 100 group exhibitions across the world and has had 35 individual exhibitions. His works are featured in the collections of the National Museum in Poznań, the Modern Art Museum in Łódź, the National Museum in Szczecin, Zachęta Contemporary Art Collection in Szczecin and Poznań. He has received numerous stipends, e.g. from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York; Arts Link – Citizen Exchange Council, New York; Kościuszko Foundation – ISP, New York; Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio, Italy; and Arts Link, Butte, Montana, USA as well as from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. He lives and works in Poznań.