Danuta Kuciak Poplife

Opening: 25.02.2011, opening hour: 18.00

Open until: 17.03.2011


For a couple of years now Danuta Kuciak has been creating photographs built around her own image. Whether it is a simple portrait or a woman’s figure presented in a wider context, the model is the same – it is her own reflection in a mirror. Continuing the tradition of self-portrait, she automatically, as it were, takes up the mythological topos of Narcissus in love with his own image. In one of the photographs we see her in profile with a bandaged ear, a Vincent van Gogh impersonation. In another one she is Frieda Kahlo. While for van Gogh painting self-portraits was only part of his artistic activity, for Kuciak her image is the main iconographic motif of her work. The background of Kuciak’s photos, like in the paintings of the Mexican Kahlo, is always meticulously prepared; some of her self-portraits, for example, show her playing in an “atelier” of a girl’s room.

In those works from the Poplife series where we see the artists in an intimate context, she is surrounded with attributes of a modern girl. The choice of those items and their impressive number is intentionally exaggerated. The, as it seems, randomly chosen elements of clothing that are scattered around the girl, do not harmonize with the skimpily dressed body. The surrounding, which main role is to add the right context to the whole scene, be it a regular room, a bedroom or a dressing room, is not entirely credible. The appearance of a mess brings irritation and pain. It demonstrates how strong the delusion that confines the “girl” is. Both the space and the woman’s figure become part of the symbolization process, they reveal her psychological obsession. (…) In Kuciak’s works the “horizon” of expectations of a modern young woman is drawn by pop culture. The horizon that seems to be so far, but is in fact very close.

Piotr Pękala