Agnieszka Szczotka

Agnieszka Szczotka

Always confrontational, precise, compelling and deeply conflicted Szczotka’s performances, video, photography and text works delight in resuscitation — of bodies, memories and histories.

Agnieszka Szczotka is a Polish artist, writer and performer based in London.

Fusing both the personal and historical, her texts oscillate between disparate styles of writing, from darkly humorous to surreal, fragmented and appropriated, and span various emotional registers. She often employs historical figures as protagonists in her texts and brings them to life in her performances, as a means to contest and rewrite received historical narratives.

Szczotka received her postgraduate degree from the Royal Academy of Arts, and BA in Sculpture from Camberwell College of Art, London. Her works and performances have been presented at FACT, Liverpool; Supermarket, Stockholm; Vi Lever Pa Polsk, Copenhagen; Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Firstsite, Colchester and the South London Gallery, London; Studio Voltaire; FormaHQ; Workplace Gallery; RA Schools Show, Royal Academy of Arts; Cooke Latham Gallery; CIRCA, Piccadilly Lights, all in London. She is a recipient of various grants and residencies, including Palazzo Monti, Italy; New Writing with New Contemporaries and Hospitalfield, Scotland; Xenia Creative Retreat and Travel Prize, UK and a-n Artist Bursary. Her writing, in Polish and English, has appeared in publications such as Zwykłe Życie and Fieldnotes.

Lady from Charleston

HD Video / 04:49 min / 2016

01:57 min excerpt

Drawing upon autobiographical narratives and its entanglement in larger socio-political structures, the works featured here exemplify the artist’s earliest moving image works and her first performances to camera. In these videos intimate rituals, gestures of care and quotidian activities are being played out within the architecture of the domestic space. Army memorabilia, crystal vases, and the classics of Polish literature provide a backdrop, where garments become props that both discipline and activate the body. 

'Lady from Charleston' borrows its title from a Harlequin, one of many romance and erotic novellas collected by the artist’s grandmother throughout her life. A cheap import from the West, they grew in popularity in the 90s ─ the times of political transformation in Poland, with rapidly developing capitalism and consumer culture flooding the landscape. 

Combining popular culture with both memories and fiction, this body of work serves as a meditation upon aspirations, visibility and belonging.

Has Agnieszka Got Up Yet? (Władysław) 

HD Video / 04:25 min / 2016

02:00 min excerpt

Has Agnieszka Got Up Yet? (Jadwiga)

HD Video / 06:09 min / 2016

01:58 excerpt