An Eye for an Eye
Artur Żmijewski

Salt Galata

January 17 – February 2, 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Artur Zmijewski’nin <i>Göze Göz</i> (1998) filminden bir kare<br />
Foksal Gallery Foundation (Varsova) ve Galerie Peter Kilchmann’in (Zürih) izniyle
Artur Żmijewski, still from the film An eye for an eye (1998)

Courtesy Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

SALT Galata, Floor -1

Artur Żmijewski
An Eye for an Eye, 1998
Duration: 11’22

The film An Eye for an Eye features amputees in the company of the healthy. The able-bodied enter into an intimate, troubling situation with the handicapped, somehow “lending” them their missing limbs. Artur Żmijewski: “They have been taken into the greatest confidence, allowed the most shameful touch, the greatest ignominy – they touch the scars.” The results are hybrid creatures – beings with an odd number of limbs. We see two men climbing the stairs, a woman helping a man missing his lower legs and his fingers take a bath, a peculiar walk down a dirt road. The disabled and able-bodied cooperate easily in this symbiosis, creating an unusual double human being. And yet both parties pay for it in fatigue, physical pain, the intrusive presence of the other, the violation of their own privacy. Art critic Ewa Toniak believes that the film contradicts the dominant ideology of exclusion; it is also a blueprint for a new symbolic order based on the female economy of the gift, rather than the male economy of exchange.

The film features Rafał Lis, Mariusz Maciejewski, Zbigniew Pietrzak, and Eliza Twaróg.

Text: Sebastian Cichocki
Courtesy Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Artur Żmijewski’s (b.1966) provocative works reflect on people and power structures reduced to their essence, often questioning the relationship between the physical and spiritual dimension of the human being, without the limit of law, political or cultural conventions. Since 2006 he is the artistic editor of the “Krytyka Polityczna,” a journal of a circle of Polish left-wing intellectuals.