Rajkowska’s unique artistic vision and methodology combines subjective narratives and critical discourses with a deeply felt concern for the spaces in which her works appear and the people they touch. Instead of simply invading or occupying public spaces, she blurs the identities and hidden tensions associated with them, navigating around communal dreams and fears. Historical trauma, cultural discourse, aesthetic relevance and geopolitical references all blend in her works in ways which both distress and heal, challenge and resolve, attack and absolve. Rajkowska deals with all these issues on an intuitive level, digging for desires and myths in ways which are not spoken of directly, far from a discursive level which would disrupt the physical and emotional realms involved. Her works resist interpretations which could offer simple solutions to complex problems. Instead, they are conceived of as social utopias to be tested in practice and frameworks for individuals or communities to experience, discuss and give meaning to.
WHERE THE BEAST IS BURIED is the first English-language book about Joanna Rajkowska and her unique practice of work in public space, in extremely diverse cultures and geographies: from Konya in Anatolia, through Warsaw and Berlin up to Curitiba in Brazil. A collection of stories, essays, interviews and images covers her best-known projects. The most intimate insight into them offer her own stories, which form a dramatic enquiry into both the personal and the conceptual roots of her work.
The Soldier with No Name
Gavin James Bower