Karolina Balcer: Happy Family

Free
Address ul. Gałczyńskiego 3, Warszawa
Entry Free
Event website zacheta.art.pl…
Venue's website zacheta.art.pl…
Curator Magda Kardasz

Happy Family is a family project. The impetus to create it was the situation the artist’s older brother Filip found himself repeatedly. Although nothing was lacking in family home, he was periodically homeless. The problem of homelessness is so complex that it is often difficult to pinpoint its causes. Among the most common is social exclusion caused by mental illness or disorder, including addiction, or by a long-term stay in prison. It involves misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis, stigmatisation of the mentally ill, lack of access to help or the ability to use it by the sick and their relatives. Through personal experience, the artist can tell a true story and perhaps break the taboo surrounding the subject of mental health. In this story, her brother is no longer just a family member — he becomes a representative of society.

The works in the exhibition metaphorically refer to mental health issues. The starting point was ‘sweeping problems under the carpet’ — a process that is harmful and only multiplies problems. The artist used tufting and other textile techniques to create the works. The exhibition consists of paintings and objects with textual elements, referring to utilitarian objects associated with domestic space, such as carpets, doormats, lamps, towels, curtains or TV cabinets. The author wanted to create a friendly space, conducive to discussions on difficult subjects (meetings will be held in one of the gallery rooms).

The works for the exhibition were created with the support of the artist’s family members. To co-create the educational program and the publication the artist invited: streetworker Wojtek Skibicki, psychiatrist Marta Ciułkowicz, psychotherapist Magdalena Peron-Szott, as well as psychology and Polish philology graduate Maria Maćkowiak. The process of shaping the Happy Family project was curated by Paweł Jarodzki.

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