Marta Mielcarek

author biographical note degree piece

My degree piece titled Inversion concerns the relationship between individuality and collectivity. The work was inspired by Greek chorus – because of its communality, array, unification of individuals, solemnity and universality of the message.

The degree piece has originated from my inner conflict between a desire of belonging to the mass, and being an individual manifesting my distinctiveness.

Marta Mielcarek

Marta Mielcarek’s implementation Inversion is a two-projector video, presented simultaneously on two opposite screens. Since the main inspiration for the project was Greek chorus, represented in the form of multiplied characters, entire piece has been firmly anchored in European visual legacy, and it skilfully combines cultural traditions with contemporary issues, as it addresses a live issue of relationship between individuality and mass nature.

I believe that the leading thought of the piece is dichotomy between the desire of team action and drawing strength from group, and the need for individualism and manifestation of one’s uniqueness, so typical of modern societies. Key in translating this concept into visual language was method mentioned by the author, Rudolf Laban’s movement choir, consisting in simple movement in unison, or the same choreography repeated by all present dancers. Marta Mielcarek multiplied her protagonist, which combined with projection of her image in the 1:1 scale gave a strong and evocative effect of collectivity consisting of an individual.

In each of the two projections there is a particular nature of gestures of the filmed persons. The first one presents a system of gestures taken from the reality of a character that steers collectivity, such as flight attendant, conductor or priest. The second material is a sequence representing the response of the mass steered by the conductor. The idea guiding the way of exhibition is that both projections enter a kind of dialogue of body language and gesture. A dialogue that reflects dilemmas of an informed individual. The spectator.

The piece is complemented with an appendix titled XX executed at professor Mirosław Bałka’s Studio of Actions in Space, also presented at the exhibition. It shows on small screens an image of DNA fragment of the author’s parents, considered by her a kind of self-portrait and her voice in the discussion initiated in her degree piece.

Marta Mielcarek’s Inversion was awarded the Rectors’ Award at the 6th national exhibition The Best Degree Pieces from Art Schools 2014 in Gdańsk, which testifies to importance and validity of the addressed subject.

Dr. hab. Prot Jarnuszkiewicz, Associate Professor

B. 1990; studies at the Faculty of Media Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2009–2014). Scholarships: Rector of the Academy for best students 2011, 2012; Fund for the Promotion of Creativity at the ZAIKS Association of Authors 2012, 2013.

Fields of artistic activity: photography, video. Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for artistic merit (2013) and Rectors’ Award at the national competition exhibition Best Degree Pieces from Art Schools (2014). Photography and cinematography internships at Body/Mind Foundation and TR WARSZAWA (three times).