Large format colour photographs
Four large format colour photographs
Set A: Each photograph 200 x 200 cm
Set B: Each photograph 100 x 100 cm
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 in the catalogue “Katarzyna Kozyra. Works 1993-1998”: “<BLOOD TIES> created in 1995 were inspired by the events in former Yugoslavia. The symbol of blood red cross and crescent are emblems of humanitarian organisations that bring relief to fellow humans. While working on this piece, I was pondering the metaphor of fratricidal rivalry and fight against the backdrop of religious and ethnic ideologies”.
In the summer of 1998 Kozyra was invited to participate in the activities of the AMS Outdoor Gallery combined with the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) programme which involved preparing and displaying in public space billboards (like advertising posters) prepared by artists. For her billboard Kozyra chose two shots from “Blood Ties.” The exhibition was planned for October 1998, but due to legal reservations it was postponed until mid-May 1999.
In 1999 billboards were manufactured for the exhibition organised by the AMS Outdoor Gallery, which took place on the street of Polish cities: Warsaw, Poznań, Łódź, Cracow, Lublin, Katowice, Wrocław, Szczecin and the Tricity. Katarzyna Kozyra’s piece created a scandal. Following protests, the billboards were censored. They were deemed an offence against religious feelings as well as shameless attempt at shocking with nudity and mutilated body. Naked women together with the cross and the crescent were -covered with long white stripes.
- In 2011, on the occasion of the solo retrospective exhibition of Kozyra’s art in the National Museum in Cracow, the billboard from years before was reconstructed. “Blood Ties” photographs became the pretext for a protest against the exhibition and Kozyra herself organised in front of the Museum’s main building in January 2012 by the organisation Krucjata Młodych (Youth Crusade).
- In 2012 a special exhibition copy of the piece was created exclusively for the Katarzyna Kozyra solo exhibition in Dusseldorf. The piece – according to the artist’s original idea – was adapted to the building, i.e. cut into the shape of the stairs. Currently it is stored as a deposit in Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.
- The piece is among others featured in the following collections: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and Galeria di Civica Trento
- “Katarzyna Kozyra, Casting”, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2010.
- “Katarzyna Kozyra”, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento 2004.
- Katarzyna Kozyra, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb 2001.
- „Katarzyna Kozyra, The Men’s Bathhouse, 48. International Biennial of Visual Arts, Venice, Polish Pavilion”, published by Zachęta Gallery of Art, Warszawa 1999.
- “Katarzyna Kozyra. Works 1993-1998”, Polish Institute Leipzig, 1999.
The Artist would like to thank all her collaborators and people who helped in the realisation of the project, in particular:
Ewa Gorządek, Katarzyna Górna, Ewa Kozyra, Wojciech Krukowski, Krzysztof Malec, Robert Rumas, Piotr Rypson, Agata Smalcerz, Agnieszka Wołodźko, Fundacja Wyspa Progress
Blow-ups of the set A were financed by the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw
The piece was created with the support of Kozyra’s mother, Alicja.