Gustowska was born in Poznań, where she lives and works. She is a Professor at the University of Arts in Poznań, Faculty of Multimedia Communications, Department of Intermedia, where heads the Multimedia Activity Studio. Also, she supervises Collegium Da Vinci’s Studio of Drawing for students majoring in Graphic Arts. Her works span a vast range of media, including painterly objects, graphic techniques, photography, video installations, video performance, and film. According to the artist, the following solo exhibitions proved ground-breaking for her further explorations:
– her first video performance, Multiple Portrait, Akumulatory Gallery, Poznań 1985;
– twin-themed works: Relative Similarities, The National Museum, Wrocław 1986;
– painterly objects fused with cinematic narrative at the exhibition entitled Floating, Contemporary Art Gallery Zachęta, Warsaw 1996;
– reflections on L’Amour Passion in hetero- and homosexual relationships conveyed in Passions and Other Cases, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw 2001;
– the sound experiment in the thirteen spaces of the exhibition Singing Chambers, District Museum, Bydgoszcz 2001;
– the retrospective show Life is a Story, including media installation entitled The Art of Choice, The National Museum, Poznań 2007.
Her artistic adventures of a lifetime would include:
–SHE. Media Story, a piece for thirteen spaces, shown at the 2008 Malta Theatre Festival in Poznań, and working on The Case of Josephine H..., the film made in New York thanks to the fellowship awarded by the Kościuszko Foundation. The 50-minute-long picture was screened e.g. at the International Film Festival T-Mobile Era Nowe Horyzonty in Wrocław (2014), and at the 11th Annual Big Apple Film Festival in New York, New Voices, Ancient Echoes: Polish Women in Film in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and other Polish galleries.
If she were to name an intriguing period in her life, it would be the time spent writing Hybryda, the book published by the 9/11 Art Space Foundation in 2014.
The longest and the most absorbing was the project which began in 2008 and ended in 2015, when it was crowned with the following solo exhibitions:
– Izabella Gustowska, The Case of Edward H…, The
Case of Iza G…, Arsenał Gallery Power Station, Białystok (curator: Monika
– Izabella Gustowska, New York and the Girl, featuring Aneta Grzeszykowska, Ada Karczmarczyk, Eva Rubinstein, Art Stations Gallery, Poznań (curator: Agata Jakubowska)
with its ultimate outcome: the publication entitled Izabella Gustowska. Nowy Jork i dziewczyna which came out with Czas Kultury.
She is happy that her works may be found in notable museums in the country and abroad, for instance at the National Museum in Wrocław, MoMA in New York (graphic works), or in the private collection of Grażyna Kulczyk, which focuses on the art from Central-Eastern Europe, at the Muzeum Susch in Switzerland (objects created in the 1990s), as well as at homes of her friends.
One thing she finds important is travelling near and
far, which is when she gathers the photographic and cinematic stimuli. She
likes to become engrossed in reading, in conversations, and in sounds.
photo by Sławomir Sobczak
ANTONINA \ (kwiecień-grudzień)
In the course of three months of her residency at CK
ZAMEK, Izabella Gustowska will be collecting photographic material and footage
for ANTONINA, an exhibition planned to take place in 2020.
This is going to be hybrid show, an alloy of media, combining projections, objects, the presence of performers and narrative elements. It will be “built” within the interiors of CK Zamek: in the exhibition halls, hallways, selected rooms, the ladies’ room, in the lift and other locations found during the 2018 residency. The artist’s intention is to become immersed in the everyday life of the place, be a voyeur of sorts, witnessing authentic situations and observing people, only to confront them with arranged film sets. The footage, including archival material gathered during the residency, will be used in the prospective film entitled On the Bridge of Avignon, and in the aforesaid exhibition (incidentally, Antonina is its working title). The “return” of the footage to the locations where it was shot is one of the interesting devices that the artist is going to employ, thus producing a singular tautology, juxtaposing filmed narrative with reality.
However, although the cadence of things happening within the spaces of the exhibition will be that of a lethargic dream, the film will palpably pick up the pace. As a result we will be exposed to a peculiar déjà vu and, perhaps, start asking question about the truth and illusion of the moving pictures, about the touch, scent, traces and presence of people in the real spaces of CK ZAMEK.
Rezydencja Izabelli Gustowskiej „Antonina”
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