Duo Exhibition by Karolina Balcer (PL) & Iwona Ogrodzka (PL)

21.04.2023 - 26.05.2023

Pilipczuk Gallery are thrilled to represent the duo-exhibition by artists Karolina Balcer (PL) and Iwona Ogrodzka (PL) titled JINX. Everyone is welcome to the opening on the 21st of April 5PM-7PM. At 6PM we will be hosting a professional dance performance by professional contemporary dancers with a following artist presentation of Balcer and Ogrodzka. The artists will be present during the whole opening and available for any questions regarding their work.

United by their shared view of the world, Karolina Balcer (PL) & Iwona Ogrodzka (PL) show works that are strongly rooted in the theme of family and childhood, but which also reflect on contemporary challenges with special attention to mental health and the planet’s climate challenges. The title “JINX” is ambiguous. It refers to the English word jinx, which can be translated as a curse: to cast a jinx on someone is to curse (as in superstition) or to bewitch. A person or an object can also be considered a jinx in the sense of “one who brings misfortune “, a bad omen or the black sheep of the family. The title “JINX” also refers to a CHILD’s game, which involves saying jinx if you say the same word at the same time. The superstition and the playful element of the exhibition are important to Ogrodzka and Balcer, who convey their messages with a twinkle in the eye, lightness and childlike enthusiasm:

 “We turn all curses and misfortunes inside out, show their courage and analyze them in our works. JINX is an exhibition about irrational fear, about ups and downs, but also about understanding what it is that happens within us every day.” – Karolona Balcer & Iwona Ogrodzka

Balcer has a great diversity in her practice working with painting, installation, video and sculpture. Over the past few years she has embraced tufting as her primary artistic tool. The medium came from a need to create works focusing on mental illness in the family. A subject she experienced was unapproachable, taboo and which was often “swept under the carpet”. Based on this reference, Balcer began working with tufting. The tufted carpet works show the homely, the cozy and the safe, but also contain the hidden – as in what you wish to hide. For the exhibition JINX, Balcer has worked in line with her previous exhibition “Happy Family Project”, where she worked from personal experiences with depression, addiction and psychological challenges in Balcer’s own family. Where Balcer was preoccupied with mental illness in her previous works, she examines mental health in her new series, to keep in metal good shape. The works are uplifting and full of hope, good mood and a bright view of the future.

Ogrodzka deals with painting, video art and photography. For the exhibition JINX, Ogrodzka has chosen acrylic painting as her medium, through which she recalls stories about her hometown Lukowica in Poland, with strong connections to her childhood. Although the paintings are rooted in Ogrodzka’s childhood town, the landscape motifs of the works feel relatable and with their open choice of motifs, give the viewer the opportunity to form personal associations. At first glance, the works, with their clear and pure colors and gentle motifs of green valleys, hills and rainbows, appear immediate and easily digestible. But if one takes a closer look at the works, one might notice that the landscapes bleed, that it snows despite summer motifs, that there are floodings and that comets fall from the sky. The works shout that our planet is undergoing rapid change and that we must take better care of the climate changes – although the message is wrapped in beautiful pink, green, blue, yellow, clear and light colors, there is no mistaking the serious message.

BIO / Karolina Balcer (b. 1988) graduated from the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław (2014) with interdisciplinary PhD studies from the same university (2017). Balcer is the winner of the Fresh Zone competition at the ArtBoom Festival in Krakow (2015), she participated in the Media ART biennial (2015), Bielska Autumn (2015, 2017), the 14th edition of the Modern Art Review Survival (2016, 2017) and in the Artloop Festival in Sopot (2016). Between 2015 and 2019, she was also the organizer of the Wykwit gallery in Wrocław. From 2017 to 2020 she was a member of the art collective Wykwitex. Since 2019, Balcer has been the head of the nomadic initiative Why Quit with Iwona Ogrodzka. In 2020 she received an honorary award from the IN OUT FESTIVAL, Laznia Center for Contemporary Art and was granted a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (PL). Since 2020, she has been working on the family project called Happy Family Project about mental health problems. The project culminates in a series of exhibitions at recognized exhibition institutions in PL with an accompanying education and information program about mental health and homelessness.

BIO / Iwona Ogrodzka is a PhD student at the Academy of Arts in Wrocław (PL). She has, among other things, participated in the KulturKontakt program in Vienna (2018), Open Pit in Opolno Zdrój (2021) and TBCK Forward in Kosice, Slovakia (2021). Participated in the committee of the Biennale Out of Sth (BWA Wrocław), the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Dresden and the Her Docs Film Festival in Warsaw. Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2019) and the Winner of the WARTO prize (2021). Ogrodzka lives and works in Wroclaw as an artist and teaches at the Academy of Arts.

The Performance is generously supported by Frederiksberg Fonden.

Karolina Balcer, Hygiene, 2023, Tufted rug,129 x 100 cm
Karolina Balcer, Mouthing about, 2023, Tufted rug, 65 x 70 cm
Iwona Ogrodzka, Comet over Lukowica, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 140×140 cm
Iwona Ogrodzka, Noc & Dzień / Night & Day, 2021, acrylic on MDF, 25 x 25 cm
Iwona Ogrodzka, Summer in Lukowica, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 110×140