Videos by Joanna Rytel


STOCKHOLM 6 March 2010 at 3 pm
Pregnant issues without politically correct answers – videos by Joanna Rytel

The Cinema. Admission free.

In connection with the Lee Lozano exhibition, Joanna Rytel presents her video art which deals with agonising issues relating to gender, power and identity. Joanna Rytel employs her own body, the camera and a good portion of bravery as her media in these works, but refrains from delivering politically correct answers. She was currently featured at the 60th Berlin Film Festival where her video Unplay was nominated for the short film award.

Joanna Rytel’s art evokes strong feelings. She was acknowledged already as a student at the Stockholm University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) in 2001, as part of the duo Unfucked Pussy (with Fia-Stina Sandlund) when they staged a Slimy-Old-Git Coup against the live broadcast of the Miss Sweden Competition. Another work that generated empathy, admiration and outrage was Abortion Graveyard, an interactive website and open forum for saying goodbye to one’s unborn foetus.

In her videos, Joanna Rytel puts viewers in the voyeur position, thereby confronting viewers with their moral astonishment at being deprived of their accustomed role as passive art spectators.

In her early work Animal Performance (2002) she danced to an audience of sheep, goats, horses and cows and stripped for monkeys. The work was initiated as an attempt to entertain lab animals, creatures who were doomed to die in the name of science. However, since she was not allowed to enter the special places where the animals were kept, her concept developed into entertaining animals in captivity. Who watches whom, and why?

To think things you don’t want to do (2005) is an intense film, featuring strong language and an inner core of questions concerning racism. The artist’s intention is to get at the racist claims that circulate in the white spectator’s mind by making statements about black people. In the video Unplay (2009) we encounter Joanna Rytel as a woman travelling around Europe. After many sexual conquests, she finally meets two male friends. It is the female character who takes what she wants, and in this way the film provokes questions about gender specific rules and taboos.

Joanna Rytel was born in Warsaw in 1974 and grew up in Gothenburg. She studied at Domens art school in 1986-88, School of Photography, Gothenburg, in 1988-89, and at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack), Stockholm, in 1999-2004. She currently lives and works in Stockholm.

Curator: Catrin Lundqvist

3 pm Catrin Lundqvist introduces Joanna Rytel and relates her work to the works of Lee Lozano in the current exhibition.

Animal performance, 2002, 5X2 min
Then I’ll take your cat, 2002 2×5 min
To think things you want to do, 2005 23 min
Unplay, 2009, 6,28 min
Flasher Girl On Tour, 2010, 14 min

Question time.