Exhibitions opening: “A New Region Of The World” and Ines Doujak’s “Masterless Voices”

Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art cordially invites you to attend the official opening ceremony of our two exhibitions – “A New Region of the World” and Ines Doujak’s “Masterless Voices”.

“A New Region of the World” is a concept borrowed from Martinican writer Édouard Glissant. It refers to place consisting of elements from every culture in dialogue with each other, on the basis of reciprocity, not hegemony.

The exhibition itself entitled “A New Region of the World” will be a part of the Conrad Festival, an international literary event, in October. The exhibition takes as its starting point Joseph Conrad’s voyage up the Congo River, which encapsulates a vision of identities and classifications, sharply defined and at odds with one other. In this paradigm, “Europe” and “Africa” are paired opposites and a larger metaphor for various other hierarchies segregating humanity.

The artists participating in the exhibition make use of a wide range of media, from the elegiac and melancholic to the ironic and grotesque. They examine the traumas of the past. They question how we can transcend the framework of discriminatory patterns of thought and behaviour. They undermine the seemingly impervious dichotomies of “sameness” vs “difference”, “ours” vs “theirs”, “here” vs “there”, and “authenticity” vs “inauthenticity”. They also consider the future, exploring the possibilities of utopias constructed on entirely new principles.

Literature will also be present, not only literally present like the quotes of French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline found on a teapot or a space rocket fuelled by the poems of Aimé Césaire, both of which the exhibition showcases; the radical spirit of such thinkers as James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon and Achille Mbembe will also be present. Their call to embrace a shared humanity, based on an awareness of our common fate, can also be found in a line from a poem by Claudia Rankine: “we are travelling as a family”.

The exhibition “Masterless Voices” is Ines Doujak’s first individual show in Poland.

Doujak studied Textiles at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but she quickly abandoned traditional crafts in favor of art, inspired by the native peoples of South America and their belief that textiles are bearers of cultural knowledge.

The body is another significant area of interest for her, in particular the body as a cultural construct which is at the same time subject to abrasive influences from the political and social sphere as well as from different ideologies. Doujak’s reflections on the skin (as an external veneer) and the hermetic world of fashion are an extension of this train of thought; the artist sows confusion in that world, employing the latter’s own devices including fabrics, clothing and the fashion show.

At the exhibition in Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, collages from her series “Skins” will be presented, which make use of educational posters and a medical atlas from the beginning of the 20th century. In the collages, the artist associates the human body with plants and animals, constructing “hybrid creatures”. Ines Doujak believes that skin changes and rare diseases bring us closer to the primal world of plants and animals, and in fact are emanations of the latter. She’s also interested in poisonous and hallucinogenic plants, using them in the same way as early peoples – to push the limits of the mind and body.

Under the rubric “Not Dressed for Conquering” – which rejects the label “power dressing” that’s ubiquitous in pop-culture today – we’ll see works playing with concepts of high and low art, and we’ll look at fashion as a global business, examining its roots (literally) embedded in cutting up and stitching things together, i.e. “haute couture”.