Agnieszka Sztejerwald

Faculty of Graphic Arts

Hating the image

degree piece and minor degree

Love generates Gods and Demons
(Fellini’s Casanova, dir. Federico Fellini)

Hatred is a huge force that causes addiction leading to the loss and destruction of the image. Relations with the image and the creation of a different reality carrying a symbolic and semantic weight that apparently bear negative characteristics are not and do not have to be quite like this. It is commonly said that hatred and love
are close to each other and the borders are very thin, if they are perceptible at all. Those two extreme emotions enforce a stronger life. They allow us to bounce back from the state of daily routine functioning. They go beyond the comfort and safety zone. After all, they are strong affections. They enable us to cross the borders within ourselves, to cross the state of conscious acting.

Born 1994. Studies: Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2015–2020). Scholarship of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts (2019/20). Group exhibitions, among others, Survivors of sense, Salon Akademii, Warsaw (2019) and Universum, Prom Kultury Saska Kępa, Warsaw (2020). Solo exhibition: H.A.! (with Helena Stiasny), Śródmieście Cultural Center, Warsaw (2020). She has co-operated with the Experimental Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (since 2017). She has co-organised workshops under the Long Night of Museums, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2018) and under the Niepodległa program of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2019). She worked on the sound of animations for the Polish History Museum and the Witold Gombrowicz Museum.

Hating the image

supervisor: Prof. Lech Majewski (degree piece)

Defining ourselves as an artist, we often face the dilemma of acceptance or negation. Acceptance is dangerous and non-creative, and negation gives a chance to follow the mystery of what is today, what will be tomorrow and what was yesterday. Everything is important, and the artist is not an unknown space. He fills up this space.

So there is a confrontation. With creation, exhibitionism, creative matter, existential position, image, mystery, claustrophobia, aesthetics, absurd, hatred, love, beauty, ugliness, good, evil, being and non-being, pretence, longing, dream, safety, distraction, destruction, comfort, emotions, addiction, delusion, border, energy, memory, oblivion and any sort of activity.

Well, it is worth delving into these confrontations contained in Agnieszka Sztejerwald’s degree pieces, because she asks these questions indirectly not only to herself.

And the value of all works is indisputable and serves as an excellent example of comprehensive education at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, where every element is a part of creation.

Hating the image

supervisor: Prof. Henryk Gostyński (minor degree)

Hating the image is the title of Agnieszka Sztejerwald’s degree piece. This piece cannot be divided into the degree piece and the minor degree. This work is entirely homogeneous. It has its own very specific narration. The piece consists of paintings, photographs (which are treated as paintings) and a moving record of the image.

I think that the artistic achievements of Ms Agnieszka Sztejerwald deserve special attention. They are innovative and deal with existential issues, such as life, death, love, passing, etc.; they reveal a very personal, moving and dramatic image of the young artist’s everyday struggle with reality. Ms Agnieszka Sztejerwald shows a world of successes, but also a world of doubts, uncertainties, breakdowns and failures. Her painting works are marked by very specific separateness, acuteness, great sensitivity and, primarily, maturity: both artistic and inner – psychological.