February 10, 2020 - Frye Art Museum Seattle - Agnieszka Polska: Love Bite
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February 10, 2020

Frye Art Museum Seattle

Agnieszka Polska, What the Sun Has Seen (still), 2017. HD video (color, sound); 7:16 min. Courtesy of the artist and Overduin & Co., Los Angeles.

Agnieszka Polska
Love Bite
February 15–April 19, 2020

Opening Reception: February 14, 7:30–9:30pm
Performance and talk: February 15, 2–4pm
Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Frye Art Museum Seattle
704 Terry Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
USA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–7pm

info@fryemuseum.org

fryemuseum.org
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Agnieszka Polska’s computer-generated media works draw on language, history, and scientific theory to illuminate issues of individual and social responsibility. Combining original poetic texts with digitally manipulated imagery, her hallucinatory videos attempt to describe the overwhelming ethical ambiguities of our time. Love Bite presents the US debut of two deeply affecting audiovisual essays that address the urgent global issue of climate change and the specter of mass extinction.

The first installation pairs two videos, The New Sun and What the Sun Has Seen (both 2017), depicting a sentient sun that is witness to environmental and ethical collapse on Earth. The sun speaks directly to the audience in half-sung monologues, moving through a range of emotional states and modes of address, from professing love and telling silly jokes, to pondering the power of language to construct a new world order. Passages of the text refer to the effect in quantum mechanics in which the observer influences the event observed through the act of interpreting it. From this point of view, the sun character is seen to be both helpless witness to and cause of the transformation it beholds.

Extending from Einstein’s notion that space-time is dynamic and relative to the perspective of the observer, the second installation, The Happiest Thought (2019), immerses the viewer in a prehistoric environment that might pre-figure our own: Earth’s biosphere before the Permian-Triassic extinction, which occurred more than 250 million years ago and annihilated as much as 90 percent of life on the planet. The piece offers a hypnotic exploration of this lush and alluring ancient environment while contemplating humanity’s potential to overcome enormous threats like the current climate crisis.

Incorporating online-video tactics such as emotional mimicry and ASMR triggers (heightened sounds and whispers that stimulate pleasant tingling sensations), Polska crafts a mesmerizing atmosphere to compete with what she calls the “environment of seduction” surrounding consumer marketing and organized religion. Through her work, the artist aims to create “a common territory of exchange, a territory for involvement in ritual,” in which we can confront our collective calamity.

Agnieszka Polska (Polish, b. 1985, Lublin, Poland) lives and works in Kraków and Berlin. She has presented her works at international venues, among them, the New Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Polska also participated in the 57th Venice Biennale, 11th Gwangju Biennale, 19th Biennale of Sydney, and 13th Istanbul Biennial. In 2018 she was awarded Germany’s Preis der Nationalgalerie.

Agnieszka Polska: Love Bite is organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Amanda Donnan, Chief Curator. Generous support is provided by the Frye Foundation and Frye Members. Media sponsorship provided by The Stranger.

View and download the exhibition brochure

Also on view:

Rebecca Brewer: Natural Horror
January 25–April 19, 2020
View and download the exhibition brochure

Subspontaneous: Francesca Lohmann and Rob Rhee
January 25–April 19, 2020
View and download the exhibition brochure

About Frye Art Museum
Located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood since 1952, the Frye is the city’s only free art museum. The Founding Collection of primarily late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European art was gifted in perpetuity to the people of Seattle by prominent early-twentieth-century Seattle business leaders and art collectors Charles and Emma Frye. In addition, the Museum owns an extensive collection of artworks purchased or gifted to the Museum since its opening. Today, the Frye reflects Seattle's evolving identity through exhibitions, programs, and outreach, showcasing local and global artists who are exploring the issues of our time as well as contemporary scholarship on historical subject matter.

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