Konrad Smoleński

b. 1977, Kalisz

Creator of installations, objects, and videos; musician and performance artist. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, he co-founded the art group Penerstwo. Music and sound are the two lead tropes in his works, his actions balancing on the juncture of performance and alternative music. He constructs musical instruments, such as a bomb-shaped guitar, and develops musical equipment-based installations, using loudspeakers or microphones. He evokes the dark side of human nature in his work, eagerly triggering a sense of discomfort and threat in his audience. He is a former or current founder and member of multiple musical ensembles, such as BNNT and Kristen. Winner of the Views 2011 Deutsche Bank Foundation Award, he represented Poland at the 55th Venice Art Biennale in 2013. He lives and works in Warsaw.

Energy Hunters

2011, video, 26'20"

Long shots showing California landscapes and musicians wearing balaclavas alternate with a black panel, the soundtrack a cross between singing and screaming: excerpts from pieces by Foot Village, an American noise rock band Konrad Smoleński invited to join his project. In his film Energy Hunters, drums are the only classic instrument the musicians use, especially individual percussion components to produce extraordinary sounds. While the visually sophisticated film follows no specific plot, the soundtrack keeps the viewer uncertain and tense. The production climaxes with a release of energy in a sequence of electrifying scenes. The film by Smoleński may also be shown as an audiovisual installation. The piece was created in 2011, during the artist’s residency at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

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