Face to Face

26 February – 4 June 2023

Curators of the exhibition: Iwona D. Bigos, Małgorzata Micuła

The face – the most recognisable and most exposed, and thus the most vulnerable part of the human body – is the subject of the latest temporary exhibition, showcasing works created by over twenty artists from around the world. Why, for whom and in what way have people recorded for centuries their own faces and those of others? What threats to one’s own image are posed nowadays by the development of digitalisation, cybernetics and by the indiscriminate use of modern technologies?

The exhibition is centred around the issues most pertinent for the history of the human face: self-identification, portrait, mask and synthetic face. The exhibits include self-portraits and coffin portraits which glorified the subject’s face. Coffin portraits in the 19th century frequently became purely decorative objects in bourgeois homes, while ritual masks, used for protection and dance, provided both camouflage and a change of identity.  Among the exhibited artefacts there are also daguerreotypes – examples of the first commercial photographic technique which revolutionised the way of looking at the world and enabled  the precise recording of images. The exhibition also showcases the most recent elements, connected with generating digital and synthetic faces. The variety of viewpoints is truly surprising. A significant part of this exhibition is devoted to digital and synthetic faces based on algorithms and generated via artificial intelligence. This is the turn of those artists who examine in their work the impact of the virtual world on the real one.

Realization: Hubert Pokrandt  |  Music: Igor Nikiforow i Michał Kupicz  |  3D scan: Stephen Bauman

The artists showing in this exhibition include: Zach Blas, James Bridle, Olaf Brzeski, Claude Cahun, Tomasz Dobiszewski, Omer Fast, Weronika Gęsicka, Waldemar Grażewicz, Janes Haid-Schmallenberger, Andrzej Karmasz, Katarzyna Kozyra, Herman Krone, Natalia LL, Stanisław Markowski, Nikodem Nowakowski, Joanna Rajkowska, Cindy Sherman, Katarzyna Szumska, Karolina Szymanowska, Dorota Walentynowicz, Gillian Wearing, Andrzej Wasilewski, Anna and Adam Witkowscy, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Ksawery Wolski, and some anonymous contributors.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a published catalogue.

Honorary patronage: British Council