bio

Monika Czyzyk (b.1989, Poland) is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker living and working in Helsinki, Finland. She holds a masters in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and a bachelors in time and space arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. She is currently pursuing an MFA in time and space arts in Helsinki.

Czyzyk works with various forms and lengths of the moving image. Her experimental lens-based methodology combines theory with practice, the artistic with the political, professionalism with amateurism. Czyzyk’s current projects deal with the notion of utopia, with utopian subjects, places and situations and attempt to re-imagine possible futures for humankind. To this end Czyzyk relocates often and participates in hybrid social and institutional formations while seeking out a variety of topics and material and building up collaborative communities.

Her most recent work, I sent him a rabbit, was awarded a residency in New York City by the Helsinki University of Fine Arts. In 2016 Czyzyk was a resident at both Signal Culture in Owego, New York and Limbo Limbo in London. She has directed the short fiction film Patrzatka and the experimental documentary film It’s me the first one. Awards for the latter include the Prize of the Governor of Swietokrzyskie province, Poland, during the art competition Przedwiosnie and Honorable Mention at the Off Camera Festival in Lodz, Poland. Her solo and collaborative videos and films have been screened internationally at festivals and venues including Mos Gallery (Krakow, Poland), Photo Fringe Festival (Poland), Eurovideo Festival (Belgium), Kuva Tilla Gallery (Helsinki, Finland), Gallery 400 (Chicago, USA), EKA G Gallery (Tallinn, Estonia), Union Docs (NYC, USA), Limbo Limbo (London, UK), EMAP 2016: The 9th Ewha International Media Art Presentation (Seoul, South Korea) and New York Institute of Technology 2016 Screening Series at Communications University China (Beijing, China).

Czyzyk is presently preparing a solo show due in September 2016 at Kuva’s Exhibition Laboratory Gallery in Helsinki.

CV 2016

statement

Film and documentary are part of my everyday life: in a sense I have attached the camera to my body as if it was an extra limb or a third eye. This explains why I feel the camera extends my understanding of the world. In other words, my practice is lens-based and this is why I am incorporating the recorded experience into my vision of art.

I am particularly drawn to social situations and the interactions the process of filmmaking generates in society when put to 'situationist use'. I am using the camera to conceive the world and reflect inquiringly on it. My research observes the changing face of alienation in contemporary society and contemplates the latter's overproduction of images. I have been experimenting with various forms of moving image. My exerimentations tend to culminate in short films that oscillate between fiction and documentary. They often feature fellow artists and filmmakers and are arranged as films within the film.

Accidental situations, chance encounters in my daily life serve as starting points of the artistic process. I intuitively collect material: found footage and images constitute an integral part of my work which I later on transform digitally and physically. Scripts are hardly ever used. The very process of filming followed by the on-going process of editing shape the final work: both remain open-ended for as long as the work is alive, all through to its end. Once the situation related to it ceases to exist, I move onto another project, another situation, another city.

In 2011 I relocated from Krakow to Helsinki. Ever since I have been living and working in two countries, in between places and altering perspectives. Moving back and forth, from one place to the other, has found its way into my work. It has become the means of identifying myself. By walking around the city like the exiled Walter Benjamin through the Parisian arcades, being myself the Baudelairean flâneur he sought to embody, I undertake my very own 'Modernist projects'. I assemble and archive the objets trouvés, I document the arbitrary situations created on the way and I present my filmic collages to the world hoping people will share my fascination with it.