Afterbeauty & Votive Figure is Marta Zgierska’s second exhibition at Intervalle Gallery, after Post (HSBC Prize for Photography in 2016). The artist is fascinated by cosmetic surgery and undermines the canons of beauty. She denounces the social pressure exerted by this new religion that has become the appearance and defies the expectations about female image.
Marta Zgierska (1987, Poland), is a visual artist who is interested in trauma, experiences that border the boundaries of consciousness and the process of disappearance. She often poses as a subject, exploring the intimate boundaries of photography.
Afterbeauty. Forms that float in space are modeled from used aesthetic masks. In order to obtain the subject of her work, Marta Zgierska performs the ritual of placing the mask on her face and she repeats the gesture until the material becomes harmful to the skin. She transforms her image into pure form, deprived of mimetic content and genre. The material used is separated from its main context, the female face, and yet it remains a self-portrait. Although Marta Zgierska rejects her genre in the transition to abstraction, the primary function of the mask highlights the gender issue.
Votive Figure. Marta Zgierska represents the new god of beauty in the modern word. In the contemporary world, Beauty is god, a deity that demands sacrifice. She make votive wax figures to beseech the deity to make her beautiful. By casting her own body in a wax shell, the artist creates votive figures to implore the divinity to make her beautiful.
The color of the wax is not decorative in itself, it is driven by the beauty products used to decorate the flesh. The trace of lipstick, shining through the waxen layer, marks the seam between the living body and the shell.
The beauty of the body has become religion, and its cult, in a paradoxical twist, spreads best through virtual reality, gaining millions of followers in the process. For many, the depiction of appealing, desirable body becomes the only pursuit, a way of life, a stepping stone to a life of fame and fortune. The flesh and its beauty have become commodities that can be monetized to an unprecedented extent. And inexorably, we ourselves have become a part of that particular reality.
Marta Zgierska – Afterbeauty & Votive Figure
April 26 – July 6, 2019
12 rue Jouye-Rouve