In the autumn of 2017 the 9th Preis der Nationalgalerie was awarded to Agnieszka Polska (born 1985 in Lublin). On this occasion the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin will present a new multi-channel video installation by the artist, which is being produced especially for a solo exhibition in the Historic Hall beginning on September 27, 2018.
Agnieszka Polska combines live action sequences and animation into encrypted adaptations of cultural artefacts. Often pervaded by an unsettling undertone, the artist’s alluring, visually-rich works address the state of the world today and our role and responsibility within it. For her latest project Polska takes as her starting point a historical correspondence from the fifteenth century between Mikołaj Serafin, the official who governed the Polish salt mines, his workers, and a web of creditors and debtors. In an unprecedented occurrence the mines were leased to Serafin by the king and functioned as an early form of capitalist entity within the feudal system.
Polska’s immersive sound and video installation presents the story of the illiterate messenger delivering Serafin’s letters, who one day becomes stranded in the forest. Here an unexpected encounter offers the protagonist a hallucinatory vision that merges Christian apocalyptic theology with the contemporary notions of unsustainable usage of raw materials and information-based capital.
The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and is supported by BMW.