The video A Dream of Linnaeus’ Daughter (2018) was shot in Uppsala, Sweden, in the gardens of Carl Linnaeus, the famous 18th-century botanist and taxonomist. Kozyra, in the role of Linnaeus’ botanist daughter Elisabeth Christina von Linné, conducts an animal choir singing Beethoven’s iconic Ode to Joy. As they stand on wooden pallets symbolizing Noah’s Ark, the moos and squeals of her dog, donkey, cow, horse, goat and monkey choir fill the garden with what now is the anthem of European Union.
series of photographes
Monumental ten-foot-tall prints of naked men harnessed and led on leashes by burka-clad women. Testing the limits of cultural appropriation, Katarzyna Kozyra adopts the Burka as a symbol of female oppression, an instrument of restriction, one that literally renders a woman invisible. But it is men as dogs, in their full-body splendour, tattooed and muscular, that is shown subdued and subordinate.
Video installation, documentary movie
2012 – …
„Looking for Jesus” is the latest project by Katarzyna Kozyra, whose starting point was information about the so-called Jerusalem Syndrome, an acute delusional disorder which had been reported by medical professionals only in the 2nd half of the 20th century. After visiting the Holy Land, people afflicted with the syndrome start to identify with Biblical characters – usually with the Messiah.
Artist Katarzyna Kozyra travels the world, looking for herself and inviting the audience to participate in the casting… for the role of herself. “Casting” started as a part of another of Kozyra’s projects – a full-length autobiographical feature film. Kozyra looking for Kozyra.
“Summer Tale” is a colorful contemporary fairy tale, which in its message contains Kozyra’s artistic “statement” on the role and value of the male element in (her) world. By using the masquerade as a tool of exposure, it tackles myths, taboos and gender stereotypes, touching upon broader, universal truths about human nature, otherness, private behavior and conventional beauty standards.
Series of artistic squats
After having invaded Budapest public bathhouses, learnt opera singing, striptease, and make up, having performed in a night club and participated in a film fairy tale as the princess, Kozyra decided to fulfil another of her dreams, albeit outside the “In Art Dreams Come True” series. Dreams connected to her professional career.
Video and performance
In Kozyra’s interpretation the characters undergoing the dressage are Nietzsche and Rilke (whom Salomé also knew), or rather actors–dancers in dog masks, but with distinctive and recognisable facial features of the philosopher and the poet.
“Faces”, like the “Rite of Spring”, has its roots in ballet. The piece presents the faces of dancers in an unnatural, hyper-realistic way, filmed only a few dozen centimeters, presenting their extreme emotions.
Cycle of performances, happenings and films
“In Art Dreams Come True” consists of a series of performances, quasi-theatrical productions, audience-engaging happenings and films. In the individual works, Kozyra acts as the director, lead character, and as ‘raw material’ apprentice in the hands of her two master guides who assist her in assuming various roles. Gloria Viagra, the Berlin-based drag queen whom the artist sees as a model of “true femininity” and the voice coach Grzegorz Pitulej, known as Maestro introduce Kozyra into their respective worlds, both saturated with artificiality, convention and posing.
In this work, Kozyra, looking from a feminist position, uses a number of clichés encoded in culture, referring to images and images of masculinity present in our everyday reality.
The title of the work, “Punishment and Crime”, is a paraphrase of the title of Dostoyevsky’s novel. In Kozyra’s work the act of destruction is in and of itself a punishment. The artist looks at the extraordinary and not always legal male passion for paramilitary activities. Masks on their faces soften the effect of danger, without taking away their authenticity.
Video projection and photography series
The work consists of three short videos (Ragazzi, Spears, Stairs), each 3-4 min. loop, and a series of photographs. Both videos and photos show naked young men (“dressed” only in vaginal looking thongs) posing during a photo session. Placed in front of the camera and given no specific instructions from the artist, the men are left to their own devices.
Performance, video installation and colour photographs
“Dance lesson” is based on Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “Petrushka” and is another example of Kozyra’s interest in body and choreography in Russian ballet.
The work was inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, and produced as an animation. Version I is shown on six small monitors arranged in the form of an inner and an outer circle (three monitors each), and shows a fragment of the Dance of the Chosen Victim, lasting thirty seconds. Version II is on nine large screens, arranged as above, and shows the animation of the whole, 4.5 minute long, Dance of the Chosen Victim.
The work was exhibited at the 48 Venice Biennial in the Polish pavilion curated by Anda Rottenberg, with Hanna Wróblewska as the curator of the exhibition. For “Men’s Bathhouse” Katarzyna Kozyra received an honourable mention – one of the highest distinctions ever received by a Polish artist at the Venice Biennial.
The first in a series of works made using a hidden camera, shot at the public bathhouse in Budapest. The installation consists of a main screen showing a four minute looped projection, and five monitors showing unedited films.
In response to media attacks caused by the “Pyramid of Animals”, Kozyra creates „Olympia”. Kozyra presents herself during chemotherapy, with a shaved head and without makeup, alluding to the canon of a once avant-garde painting, maintaining the full décor of the original and expanding the scene with an additional two frames and a film, instead of a lovely young woman.
A series of large-format colour photographs
1994 – 1998
It is a symptomatic transitional piece – its phenomenon lies in that it showcases perfectly the aftermath of “Olympia” and foreshadows “The Rite of Spring” two works wildly different from one another.The models are older women, deformed, like in “Olympia”. It’s the beginning of the Artist’s interest in old age, the passing of time, forms and shapes, capacities of the human body and body as a costume as well as limits imposed by it.
Large format colour photographs
One of the first evidence of Kozyra’s fascination with “non-normative body”. The model for this piece was a random man – “a man without a face”, whom the artist met accidentally on Wislostrada in the autumn of 1995.
Large format colour photographs
Four large format photographs generally arranged in a square, presenting two women, real life sisters, one of them Kozyra herself, against the background of religious symbols: cross and crescent. As the artist explains were inspired by the events in former Yugoslavia.
Life size sculpture, video and artist’s statement
The artist’s degree piece, presented at the Department of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The work consists of four stuffed animals and of a video documenting the process of the horse being put down and skinned.
Black and white photography series
Throughout the entire 1992, her fourth year of studies at the Faculty of Sculpture of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Katarzyna Kozyra was photographing Andrzej Karaś, her friend and roommate from the flat on Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw.
The work dates back to the period when Katarzyna Kozyra was a student of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In Polish art schools it is a tradition to work with models and draw, paint or sculpt nudes.