Anna Sztwiertnia, Sanktuarium | Sanctuary

Sanktuarium / Sanctuary is Anna Sztwiertnia’s first solo exhibition at a public cultural institution.

A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) in Krakow, Anna Sztwiertnia is interested in the subject of spirituality and rituals that foster its development. In her works, she is constructing a new version of these rituals, one that is devoid of a sacral aureole, based on the recipient’s emotional involvement, affecting multiple senses and motivating to establish a direct contact with artwork.

For this exhibit, the artist transforms the Lower Gallery into a variation on The Sanctuary, a legendary New York club that operated in 1969–1972 in an abandoned German Lutheran church. This jam-packed venue was the first totally uninhibited gay discotheque in America. The artist sets up an underground labyrinth, in which different objects, audio-visual, light and thermal effects take the audience on a journey from sensual to purely intellectual experiences. In it, she reshapes the motifs distilled from Christian rites, spa treatments, New Age formulas and techno raves into an artistic trans ritual, which transcends the boundaries of everyday life.

Anna Sztwiertnia (born in1993) creates installations, animations and digital art. She draws inspiration from exact sciences, spiritual phenomena and spatiality in music. In 2018, she graduated from the graphics department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She also did an intermedia studies program at the Universidade de Porto [University of Porto] in Portugal in 2017

. Anna has had several solo exhibitions, including Uzdrowisko. Realność doświadczenia oczyszczenia [Spa. The reality of a cleansing experience] (Hotel Forum, Krakow, 2018) and Namysł [Consideration] (Aristoi gallery, Krakow, 2017). She has also participated in a number of group exhibitions, such as Miłość/Love (19I10, Inkubator Kultury Pireus, Poznan, 2018), Zazieleniła się sztuczna trawa [Artificial grass has come into leaf] (FOCA Festival, Krakow, 2018), Jak jest? [How is it?] (Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, 2017), We say wine and Ferraris and the rest you have to imagine (Casa des Artes, Porto, Portugal, 2017), Wizualne spa [Visual spa] (Błękitny Wieżowiec [Blue Skyscraper], Warsaw, 2016). Anna is a finalist and laureate of the audience award at the 2017 International Avant-garde Film Festival Lava in Krakow and a two-time recipient of the Rector Scholarship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She lives and works in Krakow.