Interview: Antonina Konopelska
Luca Curci talks with Anotonina Konopelska during the 5th Edition of LONDON CONTEMPORARY 2022 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Antonina Konopelska, Ph.D. (1990) Multimedia artist Assistant Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and a Lecturer at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw. Graduate of prof. Grzegorz Kowalski’ s Audiovisual Space Studio Kowalnia at Media Art Faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (MA 2016, BA 2014) and Modern Languages Studies at the University of Warsaw (Iberian and Ibero American Studies, BA 2014) She defended her doctoral dissertation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice under the supervision of prof. Ewa Zawadzka and prof Judyta Bernaś (2022).
She presented her works during numerous solo shows (‘All that we has’, ProjectRoom, U-Jazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2022; ‘Chór The Choir’, Vienna Woods Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020; ‘Libertango’, TRAFO, Szczecin, 2018; ‘The Wax of Poland 3.1’, Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw 2018, among others) and group exhibitions (‘London Contemporary 5’, The Line Artspace, London, 2022; ‘Out of Poland’, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica Art Studios, 2019; ‘A Process 2.0’, Krakow Photomonth, 2016; ‘Readings’, Salon Akademii, Warsaw, 2015; ‘Masquerade’, CFF The Centre for Photography, Stockholm, 2012, among others).
Recipient of Adam Mickiewicz Institute Polish Culture Abroad scholarship (2022, 2021, 2020, 2018), scholarship of ZAIKS-Polish Society of Authors and Composers (2021- 2013), finalist of INOUT Festival (2019) and DEBUTS! program (2015), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Artistic Award of 2014, The Ministry of Science and Higher Education Scholarship for outstanding artistic achievements (2013).
Founder of BA\SEN Artspace at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.
Member of ZAIKS-Polish Society of Authors and Composers.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Antonina Konopelska – In my artistic practice, I work primarily with staged or provoked camera situations based on personal experiences or documentary research, focusing on matters of identity, interpersonal relations, and proxemics, often implementing social contexts. I am also interested in sound and movement. I deal with photography, video, installation, and graphic design. The most important part of my process is meeting with an actual person, getting to know people, listening to their stories, and finding a way to show them to the world.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
AK – I use audiovisual relationships to create interdisciplinary projects which focus on people’s lives and stories. Photography and video, as well as performance art and digital graphic processing, are the media I use most often. I develop my interest in the problems of identity, corporeality, and personal distances in staged camera situations, in which movement and sound play an important role, and in photographic works. I rely on documentary research. I use the observed and created.
LC – Did your style change over years? In which way?
AK – My recent works include my doctoral dissertation-an audiovisual project connected with DID, dissociative identity disorder, that I had been working with for over a year and that I defended in 2022.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
AK – I have always been interested in confronting “the real” and life with “the artificial” and created. With art. That also manifests in the form and style of my works. Some parts are documentary, or even raw in a way, whereas some are highly processed. I combine the pieces I created by simply observing and recording or that are ready-made with the ones I’ve been working on for months, trying to find the right final form
LC – Where do you find your inspiration? How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
AK – The inspirations find me, rather than I find them. I try to be active and attentive, simply: present. Mindful. It allows me to come across and notice interesting details, stories, and phenomena, that grow in my mind until I am ready to take care of them and process them in an artistic way-my way of communicating with the world. While I do it, I try to find out if there is something new I could say, or add. If that factor comes I proceed until the work, or project is ready to be shown and the meeting with the audience occurs, a very important aspect of creating.
LC – Do you think Italiquid can represent an opportutinty for artist? Did you enjoy cooperating with us? What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
AK -ITSLIQUID group creates such opportunities. With the program of frequent open calls for many international events, Itsliquid organizes it helps artists from all over the world to exhibit their works, connect, and meet the audience, fellow artists, critics, curators, and journalists. Thanks to my participation in London Contemporary 5 I could do all that and got already involved in some new projects with creative people I met during the event. The online platform by itsliquid is a networking tool as well, it also provides a lot of art world information and promotes artists worldwide.