From the very start, Aneta Grzeszykowska’s work has closely tracked the artist’s private life, the status of woman, daughter, and mother. Her various projects—photography, film, sculptural objects, and paintings sewn from leather—radically deal with corporeality, family relations, and fundamental issues of existence and absence. In her latest exhibition, Grzeszykowska returns to her first work, Album (2005), which serves as a kind of creed for the artist, comprising photographs with an erased image of the artist. The new “Album” runs back through her life story, to the birthday of her daughter Franciszka. The play with her image, begun with a series of dolls and developed in the photographs from the Mama series, takes on an unexpected and extreme form here. The leather paintings in the show, from the Skinformer series, echo photography while attempting to face the image of the body materially. Afterimages of children’s play scenes mingle with the disturbing, fetishistic aura of these objects. The pictures, photographic and sewn, return like a wave, obsessively mixing past and present, presence and memory, life and its ethereal traces.
Aneta Grzeszykowska is one of Poland’s best-known artists. Her works are found in many important museum collections, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim in New York. Photographs from the Mama series, which we presented at an earlier show of the artist’s at Raster in 2019, can now be viewed in the main exhibition at the 59th Venice Biennale.