Paulina Ołowska & Lucy McKenzie, Oblique Composition, 2003
Paulina Ołowska & Lucy McKenzie
Oblique Composition

Paulina Ołowska (*1976 Poland) lives and works in Raba, Poland. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland. Lucy McKenzie (*1977 UK) studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee and at the Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts, Germany. Both worked together initially as curators which led on to other collaborations, mainly between 2000 and 2003. In 2007, they staged a joint exhibition in Munich at Sammlung Goetz.

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In their work Oblique Composition Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Ołowska adopt the caricatured roles of ‘working women’ – an artist and an architect – weaving a loose narrative that explores the idea of making art as well as its process and perception. In front of an invited audience and against a minimal but highly formal set, the women appear separately, although their physical similarities imply that they are mirror images of one another. When they do appear together, McKenzie begins to sketch Ołowska’s portrait. The surrounding audience watches McKenzie, noting her ability to translate what is in front of her into a work of art. Art’s transformation of reality is a central theme of this performance. This idea has gained significance by the fact that the performance is now an edited, projected film. The accompanying soundtrack – melancholic piano music – adds another layer and reinforces the sense of artifice.

Courtesy Paulina Ołowska and Lucy McKenzie

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labour, authorship, painting/drawing