Foundation history

The Contemporary Art Foundation In Situ was founded December 2004 in Podkowa Leśna by Bożenna Biskupska (painting, sculpture, performance) and Zygmunt Rytka (Photography, installation), both artists and cultural activists.

The goal of the foundation is creating a space for art projects and diverse interdisciplinary creative processes. A place to meet and explore, confront viewpoints, and exchange thought processes and experiences. Equally important is popularizing innovative artistic approaches and supporting diverse forms of creative activity. At the same time the aim of the foundation is to promote activities in the field of protection of cultural good, art and national heritage.

Currently the main objective of the Foundation is rebuilding the burned down, historical Dr. Brehmer Sanatorium in Sokołowsko, and creating there the International Cultural Laboratory (Laboratory of Visual Art, along with building a contemporary art collection, Film Laboratory, Architectural Prototype Laboratory).

The name “In Situ” means “in place” (Latin) and is a part of the foundations philosophy. Activity in a spot, that no matter where it’s located, can become a space for art. In Situ initiates an opportunity to create an infinite permutation of solutions and explorations. It creates opportunities and conditions for action. The permeation of time and space as well as people from all walks of life, and above all it creates a zone for free artistic processes and scientific research.

FOUNDERS:

Bożenna Biskupska

Born in 1952 in Warsaw. 1970-1972 she studied painting in the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Poznań, and in 1972-1976 the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw. In 1976 she graduated with honors from prof. Tadeusz Dominik’s workshop. She is engaged in painting and sculpture. In 1982 she won I prize at the IV International Biennial of Miniature Textiles (Savaria Museum, Shombathely, Hungary). In 1984 she was awarded a two year scholarship by the Ministry or Culture and Art, and in 1986 won the 1st Grade Stanisław Wyspiański Award for painting and sculpture. She represented Poland in the XLI Art Biennial in Venice (1984), and the XIV International Biennial of Small Sculpture in Bronze, Padua (1986).

The problem of time in the abstract and existential context, and the issue of infinity, where always the leading themes in the artwork of Bożenna Biskupska. Along with spatial installations and traditional sculpture, she practiced painting and drawing. In 1987 the artist started work on her key series, the main topic being “One-Legged”, beginning with two dimensions of the canvas, and moving on to spatial installations. The one legged bronze figure, carved or painted as a character, ties in with the human form. This became the base element of the 1995 “Demarcation of an Image” series or artwork.

The works of art are monochromatic in all scales of gray, from white to black, and the natural colors of the materials used. The marks put to paper or canvas are today a memory of gesture. Lines of oil paint squeezed directly from the tube and strokes of a brushed dipped in oil arrange the surface, saturate with the passing of time and create irregular edges to the expanding straight line of gesture. Bożenna Biskupska is fascinated by detection and documentation of the process of change done by time.

Her work can be found in: the National Museum in Szczecin, Museum of Art in Łódź, Polish Sculpture Center in Worońsk, National Museum in Kielce, Museum of the Lubuski Region in Zielona Góra, The Warmia and Mazury Museum in Olsztyn, World Bank in Washington D.C., and others.

Zygmunt Rytka

Born in 1947 in Warsaw. A member of ZPAF from 1979. An inter medial artist with a new avant-garde tradition, specializing in photography and creating installations.

In the 70ties he created experimental films, and in the 80ties – video. From the 80ties he was involved with independent art communities in Łódź, at first Kulturą Zrzuty, later Galerią Wschodnią, as well as the “FF” gallery in Łódź. In the 70ties he documented the Polish artistic scene. He worked at Galeria Wspólczesna in Warsaw in 1975-77. From the early 70ties he did analytical work on conceptualization (time intervals), in which the visual appeal of photographed water was contrasted with the examination of a short interval of time. At the same time he was interested in the universal problem of manipulation (series Bluff from 1977) concerning the television screen. The Catalog S.M (Some Meetings) in Małej Galerii ZPAF-CSW exposition was breakthrough in his career, it intermingled the traditions of documentaries and reporting with a hidden analytical aspect. The next series, as well as exhibition of this methodical artist – Holographs – consisted of clippings and “remains of photographs” (a phrase by Rytka) in the form of a political (at the time) television image.

The next important step in his creative realization was Continual Infinity (1983), showing the will to challenge, or even rule over nature, that cannot, despite numerous efforts be coordinated and controlled. From this moment the artist dealt with both photography and film, exploring (just like Władysław Strzemiński) the media capabilities of art, our biological limitations and capabilities of viewing reality. This was similar at the time to the media works undertook by artists from the Łódzki Warsztat Formy Filmowej (especially Józef Robakowski).

In the late 80ties with „Momentary objects” he began his installations, that he continues up till this day. During the Kultura Zrzutu period, where he was associated mostly socially, he created amusing works to “Tango” and short films. The photographs where mocking and ironic of the pop-art stylisation, touching mainly on the psychosis of the “war state”. The “Contact” (1994) exhibition was a continuation of the media analysis but with a more biological component. The idea of the series was clashing the world of nature with the field of science (physics and chemistry). The neuro-optical space represents the world “within the artists grasp”. The images generated by the optic lens against the background of water of clouds, are submitted to our empirical judgment, especially our sense of perception. “The Elements” elaborated on this issue on a deeper, philosophical level. An artistic reckoning of his work since “Complementary Pictures” (1982) was the series „Lying” (1999), where the artist is „at peace” with nature, he „understands” it, and even tries to identify with it. In the XXI century he created installations (Momentary Objects (2001), Dynamic Objects (2003), that are the summation of his work to date, from Continual Infinity in spatial form, breaking the boundaries of a given medium (especially photography), to efforts meant to explore the sense of perception.

His work can be found in: National Museum in Wrocław, Art Museum in Łódź, Museum of Photographic History in Kraków, Galeria Studio in Warsaw.