In the work of Barbara Kapusta, sculpture, text, performance and animated video works blend to investigate forms of metamorphosis. Ever changing, ever between states, her works recall the inherent potential of change in content, objects and beings interrogating materiality and collective becoming. Conscious of the place of the viewer, the artist navigates the in-between space of the individual and the collective, of dismemberment and amplification, fluidity and stasis, compilation and fiction – abolishing any strict categorical distinction.
For prologue, Barbara Kapusta presents works from her series The Giant (2018). Mixing ceramic, porcelain, pigment, rubber, steel, and blown-up text bubbles, she recalls the body and its relation to others – be they human, animal, vegetal, or fictional. Body-like members punctuate the space across the floor – speaking to the present, the past and to a state of becoming. The text bubbles speak and make speech acts occur which question modes of societal interaction and interactions with others. The mounted enunciations recall the world of comic books and demonstration signs. They are known thoughts, unknown thoughts, and those that are still forming themselves for the artist, for the giant – this overflowing monstrous being – and for the visitor. The mounted text bubbles make words and any being entering this stage perform, questioning their role within the space of the exhibition and further afield in society at large. The installation will also be activated by the artist during a performative reading, creating a dialogue with the works and recalibrating their position in the space as a part of a constant process of metamorphosis. Here, the status of objects and beings remain resolutely in motion.
Barbara Kapusta has participated in multiple solo and group exhibitions internationally including most recently at the Kunstraum, London (2019); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2019); MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (2019); Belvedere 21, Vienna (2019); Eugster, Belgrade (2019); Gianni Manhattan, Vienna (2018); Ashley Berlin, Berlin (2018); Pina, Vienna (2018); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); Scriptings, Berlin (2015); The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Studio, London (2015); and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), Léon, Spain (2015). Her most recent publication Dangerous Bodies was published in 2019 by Gianni Manhattan Vienna and Motto Books, Lausanne, Berlin.
Image: Barbara Kapusta, exhibition view The Giant, Gianni Manhattan, 2018. Courtesy the artist & Gianni Manhattan (Vienna).