press release

Polish artists Pawel Althamer and Artur Zmijewski present collaborative work for the first time in the UK.

Pawel Althamer and Artur Zmijewski take everyday social processes as the primary material for their art. Althamer moves freely between figurative sculpture and radical actions in which alienation and the isolation of the individual within society take centre stage. Zmijewski’s powerful and carefully orchestrated films focus on the human body, its imperfections and its limits within given situations. The artists’ overlapping interests have led to several collaborative projects in which the world becomes a kind of running film in which the banal and the flawed are transformed into something extraordinary.

For Arrivals: Poland, the artists present A Pilgrimage (2003) at Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary’s Droit House in Margate. First presented at Art Focus 4 in Israel in 2003, A Pilgrimage takes the form of a quasi-documentary that follows a group of Polish Catholics on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A journey focused on faith, caught up in the prosaic realities of religion, the film also reveals the paradoxical itineraries of history and the way certain histories persist over others.

Born in 1967 and 1966 respectively, Althamer and Zmijewski studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Pawel Althamer was awarded the Vincent Van Gogh Award for Contemporary Art in 2004. Artur Zmijewski has been invited to represent Poland in the forthcoming Venice Biennial in 2005. Both artists live in Warsaw.

Arrivals: Poland is curated by Suzanne Cotter, Senior Curator, Modern Art Oxford, and Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate

Arrivals: Poland is part of Arrivals: New Art from the EU, a series of ten exhibitions over two years at Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary, Margate introducing the work of artists from the expanded European Union.

State of the Art/Arrivals: Poland. On Wednesday 4 May at 6.30pm, Magda Kardasz, curator of the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, and Aneta Szylak, curator, critic and Vice-President of the WYSPA Progress Foundation, Gdansk, give their perspectives on contemporary art in Poland.

Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX11BP. Tel: + 44 (0)1865 722733 Turner Contemporary, Droit House, Stone Pier, Margate, CT9 1HB. Tel: +44 (0)1843 294208 For press enquiries contact 01865 813 813 or

For further press information please email Rachel Tomkins, or phone 01865 813813

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Pawel Althamer and Artur Zmijewski
Kuratoren: Suzanne Cotter, Victoria Pomery