Queer Gaze from Poland: A Portrait of Love and Desire at The Bermondsey Project Space



The Bermondsey Project Space, London presents an exhibition featuring ten emerging and mid-career artists from Poland including Pamela Bożek, Mateusz Cyrankowski, Mateusz Grzelak, Agata Kalinowska, Krystian Lipiec, Kinga Michalska, and Natalia Podgórska.

On view for the first time in the UK, the photographic work of these artists explore sexuality, queer identities, body and human experiences. The exhibition consists of intimate portraits, snapshots, photographic diaries and art books and will be on view between 22-26 May 2018 in London.

Maintaining a strong intimate relationship with subjects portrayed in a broad range of moods including sexually-charged characters, the artists manage to convey emotional feelings based on personal storytelling. The works included in this show could not be displayed in Poland without being a political statement.

Highlights include the work of Mateusz Cyrankowski who is mostly interested in expectations of masculinity in the socio-cultural context. Using an instant camera, he portrays lovers met on the internet, and in gay clubs. He said ‘the selection of work will include a sequence with only one model who I decided to additionally mark with lines like those of butchers’ schemes’.

Natalia Podgórska is concerned with ‘people who look like sculptures and sculptures that look like flesh’. The work presented in the show is a part of an ongoing series that combines archival works with staged portraits of close friends. She approaches her practice through past experiences, and doesn’t perceive her practice as queer. ‘Based on who I am and what my experiences are, most definitely some of my work could be interpreted as queer’ she said.

Image: Mateusz Cyrankowski, Untitled Series, 2012-2015