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Artist portraits (16): Monika Sosnowska
Frankfurter Rundschau | 15.06.2002
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++++ "There's someone there. He wants to see you. Open up the door." It is not certain whether the Polish artist, Monika Sosnowska, knows the text of this old hit song from Peter Alexander. But it certainly can occur to you when you enter this labyrinth of rooms which the artist has installed for Manifesta in Frankensteiner Hof.
You enter the labyrinth through a small room about two metres square with a door in each wall. If you open a door, you enter an identical room. From this room you again have entry to an exact copy of the previous room, and so on. Sosnowska, who was born in 1972 and lives in Warsaw, has set up nine of these rooms using plasterboard to form a structure. No matter which of the doors you pass through, you end up in the same familiar room. There are no new horizons which open up, but only more of the same: an empty room of about four square metres with a grey-green floor, white doors with plain handles, and walls which are painted to waist height in a dingy green. No window, no outside view, just the same spatial capsule over and over again.
At first you are driven by curiosity. There must be something to be found behind one of these doors. At some point frustration arises. There is nothing there. And then panic overcomes you. How can I get out of here? The dingy green colour of the walls which alludes to bureaucratic mentality playfully guides our feelings in this direction, but without putting too much emphasis on this association for, whether it is an official authority or not, our orientation becomes confused through the sequence of identical rooms.
What begins as simply opening doors, entering a room and leaving it, transforms into a bodily experience which oscillates between disappointed expectation and unease. There is nobody behind the door. We have to do go through this alone.
Frankensteiner Hof, until 25 August jdv

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