PUNISHMENT AND CRIME
7 channel video installation (color), loop, 4:3 PAL, duration: 1st channel (trailer) – 2’35”, 2nd channel – 1 59’33”, 3rd channel – 1 57’05”, 4th channel 1 51’29”, 5th channel – 1 56’44”, 6th channel – 1 45’52”, 7th channel (Hung) – 2’17”, audio, language: Polish
The title of the work, “Punishment and Crime”, is a paraphrase of the title of Dostoyevsky’s novel in which Raskolnikov’s guilt begets necessity for punishment and absolution. In Kozyra’s work the act of destruction is in and of itself a punishment. The work, in which the artist explores behaviours and interests of men is presented on two large screens and five CRT monitors. In her installation, Kozyra displays a group of masked men, engaged in paramilitary activities. They use live ammunition and explosives, and their activities are more than just a hobby – their genuine passion manifests in this primal and atavistic manner. The artist documents the group’s activities which on the one hand may resemble innocently playing war as children, but on the other hand – through real danger resulting from the use of genuine arms, bullets and explosives – more current military operations. Participants cover their faces with pin-up girls’ and playboy models’ masks, which can reduce the impression of threat and fear without taking away the authenticity and documentary nature of the project. But it can also enhance the sense of danger and absurdity, observed by the audience member — participant.
In 2003 one of the Polish tabloids used the stills from the film with a caption “Unabombers roaming across Poland”. The article inside described how young, wealthy people spend their free time.
With pieces “Punishment and Crime” and “Boys” in 2002 Katarzyna Kozyra debuted in New York commercial galleries – Postmasters Gallery.
In 2012, at Katarzyna Kozyra’s exhibition “Master of Puppets” in Dusseldorf, a cut down version of the work was projected onto the front of the Schmela Haus. The sound recorded for the piece was audible, and the projection lasted non-stop for 4 months.
The work is housed in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
- “Katarzyna Kozyra, Casting”, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2010.
- “Katarzyna Kozyra”, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento 2004.
The Artist would like to thank all her collaborators and people who helped in the realisation of the project, in particular:
Grzegorz Kowalski, Jacek Malinowski, Mirek Szewczyk, Artur Żurawski.
Postmasters Gallery, New York,
The piece was created with the support of Kozyra’s mother, Alicja.