How does the family life of an artist filter into his or her art? Begin­ning with the prac­tices of KwieKulik—a duo of artists of the 1970s who plug­ged their young son into their poetic-​structural “for-​camera activities” or “activities with a camera” (as they called it)—we observe the way in which family relation­ships are put to the test in the public forum through the medium of art.


The idea that family life com­prises the sub­ject of a work of art is often con­sidered along the lines of a metaphor or a univer­sal statement, which inter­feres with the idea that it is really about the real lives of real people. In effect, the obvious question of how family—partnerships, mar­riage, children—impacts the work of the artist, whether these relations sup­port or impede his or her work, is rarely asked out loud. Here another question comes up: is art meant to distance one from empathy and resolution with regard to family ten­sions or, quite the opposite, to help gain a deeper under­stan­ding of this dynamic?


Initiating artistic actions with the par­ticipation of family mem­bers is a sort of radical realism; art in the first person, bogged down not only with the inherent risks of being an artist, but of per­sonal risk, too. What is at stake here is not only the life of the artist, but the lives of those nearest. For many artists, family forms a sort of elemen­tary, easily acces­sible plat­form for their work, but its manipulation brings with it com­plete disc­losure with regard to one’s privacy and a drastic nar­rowing of the space between the artist and audience. It is also a polemical method on the sub­ject of art itself, with artistry under­stood as a process of inter­preting reality through abs­trac­tion and aesthetic practices.


The exhibition at Raster main­tains this familial scale; brin­ging together artists who have all been associated, mostly long and closely, with the gal­lery. Thus it is also an attempt to con­sider the role of the gal­lery not as a physical space, but as an artistic family of sorts, a com­munity that is driven not only via the strategies of the art market, but also through the humanity of emotion.





Aneta Grzeszykowska
Zbigniew Libera
Bartek Materka
Wilhelm Sasnal