„In the artistic activity of Marta Zgierska, materiality is triggered at the level of the creative process, the creation of the imprint or trace of the face in matter, and then at the level of the effect of this process – photography with a distinct substantiality. A pattern of life and life itself is revealed in it. Hiding in the secret is a traumatic force, which also requires marking on the surface and turns to viewers”.
Discovering the work of memory is the basic strategy that links the series of Marta Zgierska collected at the exhibition Blush. In her practice, the artist comes out from an intimate experience and uses actions on her own body as a source of reflection on reality.
In the Post series, which is the context for later works, she takes up the subject of trauma and the impact of border experiences on the formation of personality and memory. This is where the artist’s fascination with the gesture of covering begins, which becomes the axis of the entire exhibition and the way of building meanings.
The author directs attention to the content remembered by the material with which she works. What is visible in Numbness and Drift is an imprint, a trace of the process to which she subjects her body. In the cycle Afterbeauty she builds spatial forms, using used facial masks. She is forced to perform a masking ritual on the face and repeats the procedure until it becomes harmful to the skin. The waste of the beautification process unexpectedly itself becomes an attractive sculptural form. The aesthetic message, abstracted from the context of gender, comments on contemporary patterns of beauty and feminising attitudes in art.
Although the exhibition does not have a direct image of the author, it is a form of non-obvious self-portrait. The dialectic of the visible and the latent is constantly interacting, and the relationship of the body with the image, the material with the gesture, directs attention to the tactical aspect of the presented works.
Marta Zgierska (born 1987 in Lublin)
In her artistic practice, she deals with the issues of memory, experience and body work. The only Polish laureate of the prestigious HSBC Prix la la Photographie Prix, awarded for over 20 years in France. In 2015 she was included in the list of 50 most interesting photographers of the young generation in the world prepared by Lens Culture. Winner of many international awards, nominated for prestigious ING Unseen Talent Award and Foam Paul Huf Award. The author of the Post photobook, published by the Actes Sud publishing house from Arles, for which she was awarded the Photo Annual PDN. She exhibits her works regularly in museums and galleries in Poland and abroad.
MARTA ZGIERSKA “Rumieniec” / relacja z wystawy from Centrum Kultury w Lublinie on Vimeo.