Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art | ul. Jazdów 2
00-467 Warsaw

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artist / participant

press release

In early 2004, Lublin-based artist Eliza Galey signed up for a marksmanship course. This course was the beginning of her preparations for a project she would ultimately title Illusion. The artist was learning how to use a pistol because she intended to fire at a certain image.

Illusion is a story that explores the artists most personal experiences ? a story about Eliza Galey and her father. In a series of drawings, the artist presents episodes from her childhood. Each drawing is a reminder of a traumatic event in which the artist?s father played the main role.

Galey nevertheless sets up two barriers between her memories and the viewer. She produced the drawings using a paper perforation technique ? the same used in created text in Braille. As a result, the representations exist at the very edge of visibility. The second barrier lies in the very nature of her representations, for the artist has used the convention of the rebus. We are confronted by a series of encoded scenes to which the artist has kept the key. In looking at these works, we know that they describe dramatic events, however, we will never know them fully and can only guess at the truth, which will always remain the artists secret.

Supplementing the project is a film that documents her firearms training as well as a portrait of the artist?s father with a hole in it. Did the artist actually fire at? Galey reveals her wounds, traumas, demons of the past ? and exorcises them in an act that becomes a symbolic liberation. Yet the artist leaves us to decide if we will treat this project as an artistic product at the edge of emotional manipulation or an attempt at conveying an experience hidden behind a curtain of silence and humiliation, an experience that might be sensed, touched solely with the aid of art.

Eliza Galey (b. 1978) is a graduate of the Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Marie Curie-Skodowska in Lublin (diploma in 2002). She lives and works in Lublin.


Eliza Galey ILLUSION
Kurator: Stach Szabowski