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Dariusz Kowalski: Observation of Invisible Everydayness


Recurrent images of everyday life. How to get distanced from them? How to see the real shapes, colours and details of objects that we do not perceive any more due to our fast lives? Audiovisual artist Dariusz Kowalski has chosen the method of patient observation by means of the experimental camera. He lets the phenomenon of vision emerge in its full strength in front of the camera objective. Challenging the usual ways of observing the surrounding reality, he explores new forms of the image. Join the neverending collage of blinking eyes and camera lenses with your vision and watch the selection of films by Dariusz Kowalski in the week from March 17 to 23 at DAFilms.com for free!

The Polish-born artist based in Vienna, Austria presents four of his films sharing the theme of observation online. In his latest film TOWARD NOWA HUTA, Kowalski follows the transformation of a district in Krakow which he left in his teens. However, rather than conceiving his return to the once familiar places as a nostalgic journey to the past, he provides a sober commentary on the transformation of the now fully modern city, which has naturally embraced its past rather than wallowing in “ostalgic” memories. In ORTEM, the vision is redirected from the surface of city life into its bowels. Kowalski’s camera circles around the individual lines of the underground transport system, revealing its specific rhythm and posing the following question: To what degree does city planning subconsciously influence the perception of the city’s inhabitants?

Observation which does not go through the human eye but through the mechanical lense of the camera is reflected in the latter two films of the selection. ELEMENTS will carry you to a unique state of timelessness with its emptied images recorded by a meteorological camera at the eternally white fields of Alaska. The omnipresence of cameras in today’s society, sometimes labeled as the “panopticon era”, is discussed in OPTICAL VACUUM. The collage of images from websites and webcams points out the crucial discrepancy of the Internet era; the more views and images the Internet offers, the more intense their presence.

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Films for the event



Elements (Orig.) / 2005 / Poland / 8 min

Elements relates directly to space, to impregnable landscapes and uncertain horizons. As the motifs, taken from the website "Alaska Weather Camera Program", are small airfields in Alaska, the weather conditions there, time lapse and collage make the functional data disappear. In the same way the concrete objects like cars and planes disappear.



Optical Vacuum

Optical Vacuum (Orig.) / 2008 / Poland / 54 min

Webcams have made it possible for the Internet "to have eyes," reflecting society from a subjectless and anonymous perspective. Over the past years, Dariusz Kowalski has downloaded surveillance sequences from various public and semi-public locations which in fact were not intended to be used.




ORTEM (Orig.) / 2004 / Poland / 20 min

The main topic of the video work ORTEM is the metro's traffic system, which creates a specific space and perception situation via its underground architecture.



Toward Nowa Huta

Toward Nowa Huta (Orig.) / 2012 / Poland / 77 min

Young people spin their cars around in the closed-down industrial grounds. A newlywed pair has their picture taken in dilapidated barracks. A tourist guide drives visitors through the city in his Trabant, pointing out the sites of clashes from 1989...



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