For her second solo show at Southard Reid, Joanna Piotrowska presents Untitled (2017) — a situation in which men and women feed each other for the duration of the exhibition.
Piotrowska’s Untitled continues with themes found in her wider practice including the examination of human condition through performative acts, and the constructing of multiple ‘social landscapes’ using photography, usually in black and white format. From family archives, self-defence manuals, psychotherapy methods and through both physicality and appearance, Joanna’s work is interested in exploring the complex roles which play out in one’s everyday performance.
For the show, two people feed one another in an almost therapeutic exercise. To be successful, ’feeder’ and ‘eater’ are to be aware of each other’s willingness to give and receive, only through body language and without establishing any verbal interaction. Once synchronized and coordinated, the pair begins to digest each other, subverting established roles and allowing for new dynamics to breed within the original situation.
Untitled intends to explore the complexity of human relations beyond common settings and familiar narratives. In the gallery space, two strangers nurturing one another whilst being gazed at by the public eye are part of the wider spectrum of our everyday exchange: from care, protection and trust to competition, suppression and dominance.
Piotrowska’s situation exposes the unstable and perhaps tense foundations of human interaction. Like feeding, communication is never simply staged or simply neutral, but determined by those who ‘play’ it.
Joanna Piotrowska (born Warsaw Poland 1985), lives and works in London. Selected forthcoming and recent exhibitions include Being: New Photography 2018, MoMA, New York, USA (March 2018); Big Towers, ICA, Singapore, GAUDIOPOLIS, Off-Biennale, Budapest, Hungary, Art Basel Statements with Galeria Dawid Radziszewski, Basel, Switzerland, These Rotten Words, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff, UK, Room, Sadie Coles, London, UK and Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK (2017); Give Me Yesterday, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy, Frantic, Galeria Madragoa, Lisbon, Portugal (2016); Hester, Southard Reid, London, UK, Jerwood and Photoworks Award Exhibition, Jerwood Space, London, UK (2015); s.w.a.l.k, Project Space, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK, What love has to do with it, Project Space, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2014); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK and Spike Island, Bristol, UK, Family Politics, Jerwood Space, London, UK (2013). Publications: Frantic by Humboldt Books (November 2017) and Frowst by Mack (2014).