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Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
Marta Czok EX_PATRIA Show all photos
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Marta Czok EX_PATRIA

From 26 March to 19 May 2024

Accepted the Artsupp Card

Project Space Marta Czok Foundation

Project Space Marta Czok Foundation

Campo Rialto Novo, 542-544, Venice

Closed now: open at 16:00

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In response to the theme of the Sixtieth Art Biennale “Foreigners Everywhere”, the Marta Czok Foundation presents EX_PATRIA , with the patronage of the Polish Embassy in Rome: a collection of recent and historical works by Marta Czok, from the 1980s to the present day, which they reflect on the construction of the concept of homeland and on the ideologies that make this concept ambiguous. On the one hand, homeland conforms to the need to call a place “home” and to feel that such a home is designed to protect rights and ensure an adequate standard of living. On the other hand, the construction of this concept involves the identification of the "border", the physical and metaphorical barrier that implies the distinction of the self from the other. Migration, political asylum, xenophobia, nationalist populism are confronted with this principle, strengthening its symbolic meaning and the true experience of those who live its consequences. In these works we find the gap between those who need to change location and those who have the power to determine their destiny: war policies, transnational bureaucracies, the impact of a global economy mix, making those who remain in poised: without a home, without rights, without a country.

Marta Czok's work develops hand in hand with her "homelandless" identity: born in Lebanon in 1947, Marta Czok comes from a family of Polish political refugees: her mother's family, at the beginning of the war, resided in city of Ostrog, now part of present-day Ukraine, and is deported to Siberia, before rejoining the Polish army and the Allies. In the horrors of the Second World War, his family members were subjected to prison camps, forced labor and the Katyn massacre, where 25,000 officers and members of the Polish intelligentsia, including his grandfather Stanislaw Zurakowski, were shot at Soviet hands. During and after the war, his family found themselves in the Middle East: in Iran, in Lebanon, in Palestine, then returning to Lebanon, before arriving in Egypt. Their hoped-for return to Poland, however, is not possible and they find political asylum in London, where they start again as penniless and where Czok grows up, until moving to Italy in the seventies.

Marta Czok's childhood is marked by these events, because the impact of the war continues in the stories told by her family, in the precariousness of starting life as a refugee, in the fear of further deportation and new conflicts that may arise at any moment.

EX_PATRIA Video Trailer

 

Biographical notes

Marta Czok

British of Polish origins and Italian by adoption, Marta Czok was born in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1947. The following year her family obtained political asylum in London, where she lived until 1974 and where she completed her academic studies at St. Martin's School of Art, repeatedly participating in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Over the last forty years, he has exhibited his works in Europe and the rest of the world, also collaborating on the “Alitalia per l'Arte” project. In 2000 Alitalia commissioned a triptych from her which was donated to Pope John Paul II for his eightieth birthday. In the same year she was invited by the French Embassy to the Holy See to create a work on the theme of the Jubilee which was exhibited as part of the Roma Jubilans exhibition. Royal Caribbean also commissioned her, in collaboration with Albemarle Gallery in London, to create a work for its ship Navigator of the Seas. In 2008, the Polish national television TV Polonia dedicated a documentary to her in which the relationship between her work and the Second World War was highlighted.

Among his most recent public exhibitions, Icons&Idols, a 2013 multimedia exhibition at the MACRO Museum in Rome, deserve special mention; the anthological exhibition at the Calatabiano Castle, organized by the MACS Museum of Catania in 2014; the personal exhibition Mother Rome at the Carlo Bilotti Museum in Rome in 2016; the personal exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute in Warsaw which was held in 2017; Baroque Intrusions at the Baroque Museum at Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, Rome and the Metropolis exhibition at Magione Art District in Palermo, in 2018; the solo exhibition O Nas at the Konstanciński Dom Kultury Hugonówka in Poland in 2023.

Marta Czok has also worked on traveling exhibitions such as the solo exhibition dedicated to Children in War, held at Palazzo Ferrajoli (Rome), at the Civic Museum of Albano and at Palazzo Antico Ghetto (Padua) and the exhibition About Us, on the theme of humanity, in Palace of the Popes (Viterbo), Palazzo Zuckermann (Padua) and Palazzo Zenobio (Venice). In Poland, from 2020, the exhibition To Nazywasz Sztuka? it was held in various locations, including in Warsaw, at the Caricature Museum, and then in Lublin at the Centrum Spotkania Kultur.

Since 2020, the Marta Czok Foundation has been responsible for the study and archiving of her works, with two locations: in Castel Gandolfo (Rome) for its Permanent Collection, and in the historic center of Venice for its Project Space, where the works by Marta Czok are exhibited in dialogue with international artists and institutions.

In 2023, together with the O Nas exhibition in Poland, we mention the anthological exhibition The Rise and Fall of the Ideal City with which the Project Space in Venice was inaugurated: the exhibition, curated by Jacek Ludwig Scarso in collaboration with Luisa Bravo and Anna Marazuela Kim, focuses on the city as a social and political metaphor and has included international video art works, in collaboration with City Space Architecture, Urban Visions Film Festival, A-Place and Takflix. In 2024, the De Innocentia exhibition, on the occasion of Remembrance Day, was inaugurated at the Palazzo Valdina Complex of the Chamber of Deputies, in collaboration with the Culture, Science, Education Commission and with the patronage of the Embassy of Poland.

Marta Czok lives and works in Castel Gandolfo, Rome. His works can be found in public and private collections around the world.

Jacek Ludwig Poor

Jacek Ludwig Scarso (PhD) works as a curator and academic based in London. After obtaining his PhD in Performing Arts, he worked on numerous international projects, including the Tate Modern in London, the British Council in Hong Kong, Galerie Weissraum in Kyoto, Pratt Institute in New York and RMIT in Melbourne. In London, he directs the Masters in Public and Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University, where he is deputy director of the CREATURE artistic research centre. He is an Associate Researcher at the Public Space Museum in Bologna and a member of the administrative committee of The Line, the first path dedicated to public art in London. Since 2013, he began his collaboration with Marta Czok at the MACRO Museum in Rome, and is now Senior Curator of the Marta Czok Foundation's programming in Rome and Venice.

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