Lena Policzka

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Lena Policzka

Biography

1987 Born in Penzberg, DE
2009-14 Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, under Prof. Matthias Wähner and Prof. Nairy Baghramian
2014 Annual exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (historic hall), curated by Gregor Schneider
Group exhibition, nature fiction, AkademieGalerie, Munich
2015 Group exhibition, Werden und Vergehen [Becoming and Decaying], Historischer Bahnhof, Starnberg
2017 Solo exhibition, Rush, størpunkt Gallery, Munich
Group exhibition, Kopfkino, Wasserturm, Dachau
2018 Winner of the city of Munich's 2018 artist grant [Stipendium Bildende Kunst]
Competition winner: art in public space, Röthenbach an der Pegnitz
First prize at Frankenstein 4.0 exhibition, BBK Oberbayern Nord & Ingolstadt
Group exhibition, Biopsie, Raum für drastische Maßnahmen, Berlin
2019 Group exhibition, Neues Rathaus, Munich

The oeuvre of Lena Policzka (*1987 Penzberg, DE) is based on a conceptual exploration of themes taken from nature and science, along with the social conventions of a post-industrial world. Lena Policzka studied under Matthias Wähner and Nairy Baghramian at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich between 2009 and 2014, and has worked as an independent artist since graduating.

Entitled Chapel of the Optimum, her installation features two pieces from different cycles of works in a chapel-like room. Optimatics is an ongoing series of works that has had a formative influence on Lena Policzka's artistic career from the outset. Taking the scientific ethics of stem cell research as the genesis, the artist transposes this controversial social topic into a hypothesis on the limits of mankind's relentless pursuit of optimisation. To this end, she employs the leitmotif of a laboratory environment that borrows from the visual languages of science fiction, industrial design and research. Artificially cultivated creatures are displayed on a stage that is reminiscent of a medical setting. Reduced to a single vital sign, the individual breathing rate, they alternate between a material object and a living subject.

Chapel of the Optimum, installation view, exhibition START-UP 2019 (c) Lena Policzka
Chapel of the Optimum, installation view, exhibition START-UP 2019 (c) Lena Policzka

In her triptych Golden Spike, part of her latest work cycle Rush, the artist questions whether humanity has supplanted nature as the creative force. The subject of global debate, science is still hunting for the geological marker in the Earth's sediment layer (referred to as the golden spike) that will usher in the Anthropocene Epoch. Taking this as her starting point, Lena Policzka develops a formal, metaphorical concept that revolves around sharp geometrical lines. She combines industrial materials, such as aluminium and aluminium potassium sulphate, integrating them in an experimental working process. More precisely, she uses their reactive chemical properties to create synthetic deposits and crystallisations. The resulting crystal layer builds a visual tension. It comes across as a captivating jewel and a repulsive growth at the same time. As a complement to materiality, colour coding also plays a dominant role in Policzka's work. Alongside the silver aluminium of the industrial world, the ambivalent interplay between the black excrescence of reality and the rose-tinted utopia is a prominent theme. Moreover, the artist works with associations such as 'gold rush' or 'rush hour' - allegories of ill-fated progress.

Optimatics, detail view, exhibition START-UP 2019 (c) Lena Policzka
Optimatics, detail view, exhibition START-UP 2019 (c) Lena Policzka

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