Martynka Wawrzyniak, Chocolate, 2010, 9.22 minute video, Edition 3 of 3, 2 Artists proofs

Martynka Wawrzyniak

Martynka Wawrzyniak is a conceptual artist whose unsettling and intimate performances, photographs, and videos constantly push the boundary between the artist as self and the viewer. Important examples of her work include “Smell Me” (2012), where Wawrzyniak, along with a chemistry research team, collected and concentrated the essence of her hair, sweat and tears to create essential oils that could be smelled in glass vials or via an immersive scent chamber bringing the visitor directly into a human being's most intimate sphere. This project led to Eu de M, a public incarnation of the project, in which a fake fragrance strip advertisement with the essence of Wawrzyniak’s sweat, ran in the May 2014 issue of Harpers Bazaar. Wawrzyniak explains this important work as expanding the definition of self-portrait beyond the traditional art context, using the guerilla tactic of spreading her essence across the country for the mass market to consume unwittingly. In “Feed,” (2012) Wawrzyniak, for one year, wiped her mouth after every dinner with an identical 20x20 cloth dinner napkin, which were then filed, sewn together, and recorded with the ingredients she ate. By cataloguing and sharing her meals with the public she represented a year in her life through nourishment and developed the basis for what sustains a living, breathing body. On view in The Garden of Earthly Delights, will be Chocolate (2011), a 9-and-a-half-minute performance video in which the artist is slowly submerged in 16 gallons of chocolate syrup. The work was shown in Commercial Break, curated by Neville Wakefield presented by The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, at the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy. It is sensual, claustrophobic, gluttonous, thrilling, and explores the multiple sides of fear and fantasy. Often compared to Sophie Calle as a "first-person artist", Wawrzyniak’s work blurs the line between public and private and incorporates her life into her works in a way that redefines the idea of the author. Wawrzyniak lives and work in Brooklyn, NY.

The Garden of Earthly Delights