Lego. Concentration Camp, 1996
Each box contains a set of bricks, that can be used to build the element of a concentration camp as shown on the box. All elements in the sets as well as those depicted on the boxes have either been taken from the mass-produced sets of LEGO bricks, or have been slightly altered by the artist. The prisoners are played by smiling skeletons from the "Pirate" set, while slightly modified figurines from the "Police Station" set appear as tormenters. We also encounter the captain of the camp and the psychopathic doctor, conducting experiments on prisoners. Libera says: "Initially, I was considering building a Soviet gulag, but that didn't work - it failed to refer to the images I've had in my head and did not communicate my ideas. My intention was to reflect on rationalism and education."More info >>
Lego. Concentration Camp, 1996,
studio photograph, 20 x 30 cm (fragment),
Lego. Concentration Camp, 1996, brick set
Christus ist Mein Leben, 1990
The piece was first exhibited at the exhibition "Bakunin in Dresden", Kunstpalast Duesseldorf (1990). Made on the basis of an earlier drawing, the work provides a reflection on the new, in the polish reality of that time, mixture of religion and capitalism.
One of series of photographs taken by the artist in 1980s in Lodz, but exhibited for the first time 20 years later, at a show in Raster (2006). Libera says: "During the martial law the city services and the police would clean the streets erasing all writings and posters, particularly those distributed by underground organizations. I have noticed however, that small papers, covered in handwriting and usually hung at bus stops, electricity poles, etc. were ignored. I don't know who wrote them, but I'm sure it was the work of one man - "some crazy person". The papers interested me as an example of activity so marginal, that it didn't even disturb the authorities or attract the attention of other services."
Body Master, 1994-1997
One of the first "Correcting Devices" by Libera. Two body-building devices and an advertising poster, adjusted to the body size of 7-9 years old boys. Fully functional, modeled on authentic devices, the only difference being very light weights here made from paper. This toy replicates an actual body-building machine, but the only thing that can be trained here is the child's psyche. The work was conceived in two versions, the first, prototype, is currently in the collection of the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw.
pencil on paper, 40 x 62 cm
Delivery Bed. Play Kit for Girls, 1996
Three delivery beds for girls adjusted to the body size of 7-9 year old girls. Libera speaks about this as well as other works from the "correcting devices" series: "Those were supposed to be objects using the aesthetics of persuasion. Not only aesthetic, that is meant to be looked at, but truly functional in the sense of having the same potential as they have in reality. I was interested by the way objects affect us and mould us. What influence do toys have on children? I was considering the fact how a functional aspect of well-known objects could possibly be discredited? It came to me this could be achieved by disruption. By building an almost identical, persuasive object and using the same aesthetics and technology. It should work in a similar way, yet somewhat differently, as if it was genetically engineered. I wanted to inject an internal "virus" which would disjoin the object and the domain in which it operates."
|Ken's Aunt, 1994|
24 dolls in cardboard boxes, [24x] 32 x 8 x 5 cm
You Can Shave The Baby, 1995
10 dolls in cardboard boxes, [10x] 55,9 x 20,3 x 25,4 cm
Series of video stills from a film destroyed by the artist in fear of the Polish special police (UB): "Then came the time, it was two years after I was released from prison, when I started having those visits again. I was afraid of being charged with pedophilia or sexual harassment. This is why I have destroyed the film. But since I felt so sorry for doing it, as I thought it was very good - I took some photos. The film itself was created accidentally. Children of my friends would often visit my mom's flat. Since I had a video camera I often plugged in closed circuit, so that the TV would be connected directly with the camera, and the children played with it. "Hermaphrodite" was a result of one of those spontaneous actions - an extraordinary children's dance to the music by Nina Hagen".
Somebody Else, 1988
Series of Libera's self-portraits employing the - unknown in Polish art at the time - queer genre, and at the same time, referring to the classical photographs of Claude Cahun.
Series of photographs restaging the famous historical press photos in a "positive version" - repeating the original in terms of composition, but changing the characters and the general meaning of the captured events. "The series is another attempt at playing with trauma" Libera comments, "we are always dealing with memorized objects, not the objects themselves. I wanted to employ this mechanism of seeing and remembering and touch upon the phenomenon of memory's afterimages. This is how we actually perceive those photographs ["Positives"] - the harmless scenes trigger flashbacks of the brutal originals. I have picked the "negatives" from my own memory, from among the images I remembered from the childhood."
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Che.Next Picture, 2003, photograph, 120 x 175 cm
What Is a Messenger Girl Doing, 2005
The book consists of 63 chapters - this is the number of days the Warsaw Uprising lasted - while each chapter consists of one-page photograph and one page of text. Libera has prepared a series of illustrations to the text by Darek Foks - collages combining the war scenery and faces of woman film stars from the 1930's to 1970's appearing as liaison officers. "The non-camera technique I have employed" says Libera, "seems to match the technique Darek used for writing. The proper text appeared after I have presented him with sixty-three pictures of liaison officers."
La Vue, 2004-2006
Series of photographs taken with a traditional, analogue camera with macro lens. It depicts images, almost like abstract landscapes, created between the pages of glossy magazines or photo albums. The title of the series "La Vue" has been taken from the novels of the french experimental writer Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) whose exceptional literary method became an inspiration for Libera. Just like in the case of Roussel "the language writes itself", in the case of Libera we see the process of seeing itself, however both here and there we are offered a surprising journey into the world of which we were not aware so far