Filtering by: Maciej Toporowicz

Monika Fabijanska presents Maciej Toporowicz at the New York's SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017
to Mar 6

Monika Fabijanska presents Maciej Toporowicz at the New York's SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

  • 4 Times Square, 23rd Fl New York, NY 10036 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Monika Fabijanska at the
SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017 (booth 23.49)


Preview Day: Tuesday, February 28
Collectors Preview: 11 AM - 5 PM (by invitation only, RSVP required, register by Feb. 15)
Press Preview: 3-5 PM (register)
Vernissage: 5-9 PM (ticketed event, $20; SPRING/BREAK VIP cardholders, Free)

Public hours: March 1-6, 11 AM - 6 PM
Day Guest Passes will be available for purchase at the door or online

Artworks will be available for purchase online starting from Feb. 28 here

Lord Henry said to Dorian Gray: Crime belongs exclusively to the lower orders. ... I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us, simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations.

The series of 42 gouache portraits of Serial Killers was executed by Maciej Toporowicz in a single night session in 1993. The artist used his own fingerprints to create a study of world’s most infamous human monsters who remain subject of scientific analysis and achieved cult status in pop culture. Toporowicz, known for consistent adoption of risk as creative strategy, often exposed himself to legal problems: he interpreted the subject again, producing an edition of silkscreened postage stamps which were mailed.

...quick, smudged fingerprints show the figures as shadowy and indistinct […] At the same time, the fingerprints leave evidence, identification, and accountability with the artist, who becomes a stand-in for all of us - Boston Globe review of the show at the Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA, 2000

All art that aims at transgressing limit situations is autobiographical, as it is through this transgression that the artist ‘is.’ Toporowicz has employed danger, provocation, illegal actions – strategies he had developed as an art student under Martial Law in Poland in 1980s, organizing underground performances influenced by the Viennese Actionism, and reacting to the systemic political oppression with provocative art.

Ian Buruma's text Art and Violence, where he writes that …fear is the greatest spur that drives humans to describe, depict, or act out forms of violence and cruelty […] People still need to see their fears, their lusts, and their darker impulses sublimated in fantasy, seems to hold the analytical key to the art of Maciej Toporowicz. Not only the need to overcome fear and a desire for catharsis are present in it, but also guilty pleasure, fascination with their seductive power. 

Leaving his fingerprints in Serial Killers, Toporowicz hid his likeness but not the identity, and returned to explore identity itself in the series Fingerprints, where he rendered papillary lines of himself and his friends with human hair of different colors that belonged to other people.

Toporowicz continues to create political works based on images imprinted in mass culture and doesn’t conceal his own fascination with objects of his critique: American gun culture, fetishization of violence and cult of celebrity. Created at the time of a heated debate over access to weapons in the US and the role of NRA in national politics, two new series Targets (collages, 2015) and Disney Targets (acrylic on canvas, 2015) refer to his 1993 gouaches: Serial Killers and Disney – 6 drawings made with body prints, which sexualized famous cartoon characters.

Read the full curatorial statement

VICE Creators review

Gothamist recommendation

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Maciej Toporowicz' "Aokigahara" in "Wall Signs" at the Contemporary Art Gallery Opole, Poland
to Nov 17

Maciej Toporowicz' "Aokigahara" in "Wall Signs" at the Contemporary Art Gallery Opole, Poland

  • Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej / Contemporary Art Gallery Opole (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Gallery Hours: Mon-Sun, 10-6
Opening: Thursday, October 13, 2016, 8 PM

ARTISTS: Jan Baracz, Krzysztof M. Bednarski, Jan Domicz, Adam Niklewicz, Remigiusz Suda, Maciej Toporowicz.

Writes Łukasz Kropiowski, the curator: „The exhibition aims at considering a possibility of a different approach to the phenomenon of death - a point linking a natural phenomenon and a meta-empirical mystery - an attempt to approach the subject beyond (or maybe rather between) conceptualizations of biochemistry, medicine, psychology, demography, economy, law - on the one hand, and metaphysical meditation and theology on the other. I wish to research a possibility of leaving the platitude of a mortuary, aesthetics of a cemetery, rhetoric of a guidebook or any certain eschatology. In the exhibition both „poles” of the optics of death will inevitably be manifested, but the border between them will not run between artworks or exhibition rooms, but inside the works themselves: unclear, neutralized and ambiguous".

Maciej Toporowicz' immersive installation Aokigahara employs his photographs and sound recorded in 2002 in the notorious Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees, located at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. It is reportedly the most popular place to commit a suicide in Japan. In 2003, 105 bodies were found in the forest, far exceeding the previous record of 78 in 2002. 

In recent years, the local government stopped publicizing the numbers in an attempt to downplay Aokigahara’s association with suicide. The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs at the entry of the forest, in Japanese and English, urging suicidal visitors to seek help and not kill themselves. 

The site’s popularity has been attributed to the 1960 novel Kuroi Jukai (Black Sea of Trees) by Seicho Matsumoto. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara predates the novel’s publication, and the place has long been associated with death. Suicide may have been practiced there since the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the spirits of those who died.

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Maciej Toporowicz in "All Mounds Can Be Seen from My Window" – Bunkier Sztuki 50th anniversary exhibition
to May 8

Maciej Toporowicz in "All Mounds Can Be Seen from My Window" – Bunkier Sztuki 50th anniversary exhibition

Bunkier Sztuki
3A Plac Szczepański
Kraków, 33-332

A group show commemorating 50 years of the venerable non-profit art space Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow, Poland, features documentation of the most successful performance by AWACS, a performance duo founded by Maciej Toporowicz and Piotr Grzybowski, and active 1981-1983. In this iconic performance, which took place in Krakow in 1981, they toyed with a real danger of 220 V electrocution, terrorist attack, and the issue of trust and solidarity between brothers in arms. In the end there was a gas bomb exploding on a stage. This performance reflected the darkest years of living in communist Poland, and it was published in 1982 by a radical California magazine High Performance. Selected by curator Krzysztof Siatka.

Curated by: Anna Bargiel, Paulina Hyła, Magdalena Kownacka, Lidia Krawczyk, Anna Lebensztejn, Kinga Olesiejuk, Aneta Rostkowska, Krzysztof Siatka, Karolina Vyšata, Magdalena Ziółkowska 

Artists participating: AWACS (Peter Grzybowski, Maciej Toporowicz), Azorro (Oskar Dawicki, Igor Krenz, Wojciech Niedzielko, Łukasz Skąpski), Agata Biskup & Przemysław Czepurko, Janusz Byszewski, Yane Calovski, Marek Chlanda, Wincenty Dunikowski-Duniko, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Andris Eglītis, Peter Grzybowski, Maciej Jerzmanowski, Janusz Kaczorowski, Konger (Marian Figiel, Władysław Kaźmierczak, Marcin Krzyżanowski, Artur Tajber), Katarzyna Krakowiak, Mateusz Kula, Monika Niwelińska, Stefan Papp, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Michael Portnoy, Laure Prouvost, Artur Tajber, Raša Todosijević, Krystyna Tołłoczko-Różyska, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Mieczysław Wejman, andAnna Zaradny.


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