31 December 2009

Artur Żmijewski ~ "Democracies"

“An art object is not a final product and, though working with art has an aim, it is not exclusively the production of an object, but a specific organization of the consciousness of viewer and artist through the creative process or through the work of art.” ~ Artur Żmijewski (1995)
Artur Żmijewski is a Polish video artist whose work is just now getting exposure in Britain and the United States. I've not seen any of this works yet but hope to do so. In part, my curiosity is prompted by this typically uncomprehending review by Ken Johnson in The New York Times. Johnson's hostile reviews are a consistent embarrassment, but another of the critics from The Times - Linda Yablonsky - has included one of Żmijewski's installations among the highlights of 2009. She has this to say:
"10. Artur Zmijewski, “Democracies,” X Initiative. Twenty videos documenting European rallies, strikes, uprisings and state funerals in either edited news footage or historical reconstructions was an absorbing and impressive examination of television as a tool of political power and manipulation. Nothing new. Just excellent."

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