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Joanna Rajkowska

Joanna Rajkowska (born 1968) is a Polish artist based in London, working with objects, films, photography, installations, ephemeral actions, and widely discussed interventions in public space. Rajkowska’s artwork has been presented in the UK, Germany, Poland, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden, US, Palestine and Turkey, among others. Her public projects include comissions by CCA Zamek Ujazdowski (2007, Oxygenator, Poland), Trafo Gallery (2008, The Airways, Hungary), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2009, Ravine, Poland), The Showroom (2010, Chariot, UK), British Council (2010, Benjamin in Konya, Turkey), 7th Berlin Biennale (2012, Born in Berlin, Germany), Royal Society of Arts, Citizen Power Peterborough programme’s Arts and Social Change, Arts Council England (2012, unrealised project, The Peterborough Child, UK) and Frieze Projects 2012 (2012, Forcing a Miracle, UK). Link to her site here.

More about her work:

She critically engages with the legacy, politics and aesthetics of land art and employs the strategy of unfamiliarity as a political tool whilst focusing on the body and language as the foundations of social relationships. Her works often function as social sculptures in which collective memory, tensions and desires might be manifested as public monuments interwoven into the urban tissue. Activating layers of meanings (both historical and ideological), they provoke and reveal lines of conflicts, but also serve as platforms for dialogue.

As Joanna Rajkowska’s works are materializing through ‘urban legends’, press-cuttings, gossip and media debates, their form is always ‘unfinished’, so there is a possibility they will evolve and mutate beyond the artist’s initial intentions. Rajkowska’s artwork has been presented in the UK, Germany, Poland, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden, US, Palestine and Turkey, among others. Her public projects include comissions by CCA Zamek Ujazdowski (2007, Oxygenator, Poland), Trafo Gallery (2008, The Airways, Hungary), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2009, Ravine, Poland), The Showroom (2010, Chariot, UK), British Council (2010, Benjamin in Konya, Turkey), 7th Berlin Biennale (2012, Born in Berlin, Germany), Royal Society of Arts, Citizen Power Peterborough programme’s Arts and Social Change, Arts Council England (2012, unrealised project, The Peterborough Child, UK) and Frieze Projects 2012 (2012, Forcing a Miracle, UK).

About her new book:

WHERE THE BEAST IS BURIED is the first English-language book about Joanna Rajkowska and her unique practice of work in public space, in extremely diverse cultures and geographies: from Konya in Anatolia, through Warsaw and Berlin up to Brasilian Curitiba. Rajkowska’s strategies, based on human body, its position in public space and positioning towards other human bodies, redefine the definitions of the political, the community and relations inside them.

A collection of stories, essays, interviews and images covers her best-known projects. The most intimate insight into them offer her own stories, which form a dramatic enquiry into both the personal and the conceptual roots of her work.

‘Joanna Rajkowska explores urban spaces and experiential stories. Her concern is with the regeneration of ‘atrophied’ public spaces and their political and social histories. Rajkowska’s art offers new ways of experiencing space and sociality, whether in Berlin, Warsaw, the West Bank, Turkey, Peterborough, London or Copenhagen. She is one of the most significant women creating public art in today’s art world.’

Maggie Humm

‘To be able to arrive in a city, without the need to feel you had to belong there, but still with the sense that your arrival changes something about the city so that it won‘t be the same as it was before you came: how does this work?’

Jan Verwoert

Read more about the book here

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