Raster presents the first solo show of works by Milena Korolczuk (born 1984), an artist originally from Zabłudów, near Białystok in the north-east of Poland who resides today in Oakland, California. Her films and photographs seduce the viewer with their uncanny clarity and maturity. At once emotional and serene, they compose a striking and highly characteristic portrait of a new generation of artists. Korolczuk considers the figure of the artist as absurd, charged with a constant awareness of failure when creating a work of art, with little else left to be enjoyed outside of the process itself. Her films depict the paradoxical quality of art as a form full of passion and engagement, yet just as full of barren and futile gestures of creativity. The protagonists of her works are often artists themselves – musicians, singers, dancers – whom she engages according to her own, radical scenario. Choir girls of the Eastern Orthodox church bellow out the ticking of a clock and David, a rock guitarist, wakes Białostok residents on a winter dawn with a performance of the rhythm of his own heartbeat. Her newest film, presented at the Raster exhibition, features the young artist placed a spectacular desert setting, where, in spite of a heat wave of over 50°C, she sets to work creating a remarkable, immaterial sculpture of escalating desert sounds. Music plays a key role in Korolczuk’s works. It serves to pace time, endowing it with a form that can be experienced by the senses, while also serving as a metaphor for the pursuit of life’s rhythm and harmony. Korolczuk, who has just embarked on an independent career as an artist, treats art primarily as a field of research on human beings and their relation to time and space.
Her photographs, on the other hand, depict iconic figures of history, philosophy, art, literature and pop culture. These portraits are formed out of Wonder Bread, created as a side effect of the young artist’s breakfast contemplations – a record of the compulsive activity of idle hands and a mind constantly on the hunt for ideas.