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May 29 – June 2, 2012
Family Business Gallery, New York City

The Polish Cultural Institute New York and Family Business Gallery are proud to present CASTING CALL – an interactive performance by one of Poland’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Katarzyna Kozyra. Kozyra is looking for “Kozyra” for her upcoming autobiographical film and invites everyone to try out. For two days, the artist and the film crew from New York’s Bunker Media production studio will flip the roles of artist and audience by conducting a casting call and recording the performances of the contenders for the leading role.

This New York performance of Casting Call is the third part in a series to complete the trinity of the Spirit, the Brain, and the Body. Casting Call began at Kozyra’s semi-retrospective exhibition at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (Dec 2010-Feb 2011), where in an audition room visitors gave their own renditions of “Kozyra” before a camera, based on their impressions of her and of her works on view. Casting Call was staged again at The Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv in autumn of 2011, where participants could draw upon autobiographical information published by Kozyra for the event. The dramatic difference in the presentations from the Polish and Israeli audiences has inspired yet another reincarnation in a new culture.

In New York, Kozyra wants the body — a physical human manifestation. Anyone can audition regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, or previous acting experience. For the New York run of the project, the artist has prepared specific material for the audience to draw from to help them construct their audition pieces. These sources on her website recall key episodes from her life, with descriptions of selected artworks and streaming videos. A large selection of Kozyra’s video works will be on view at the gallery from Tuesday, May 29 as additional research material. The participants are in a way invited to imitate Kozyra – a true artistic chameleon who has transformed herself many times, changing every characteristic of her persona. In Olimpia, the cancer-stricken artist transformed herself into Monet’s empowered beauty; in Men’s Bathhouse, she appeared dressed as a male, complete with a prosthetic penis; the series In Art Dreams Come True, she explored various clichés of gender, transforming “Kozyra” into a diva, a castrato, and a pop star.

Katarzyna Kozyra will be signing copies of her book CASTING at the reception on Thursday May 31, which will be followed by a dance party with New York DJ Disck Jock Ivan.

Kozyra really pushes herself, exploring her own identity – fluid and malleable, feminine and masculine – and what she is capable of. – Gregory Volk, Art In America, April 2011

Katarzyna Kozyra’s (b. 1963) controversial status in Poland is legendary and her works, never sensational for the sake of publicity, continue to elicit extreme responses and heated public discussions. Her installations, formally beautiful and poetic but driven by intense, confrontational content, often present her subjects without their full knowledge and/or consent. Through strategies of infiltration and exposure Kozyra’s works confront myths, taboos, and stereotypes and touch upon larger universal truths about human nature, private behaviors, and conventional standards of beauty. Kozyra is a graduate of the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw (1993). Her work has been awarded with many Polish and international prizes, including the Polityka “Passport”, awarded by one of the most prestigious Polish weeklies in 1997, an honorable mention at the 48th Venice Biennial in 1999 and a lifetime achievement award from the Polish Ministry of Culture in 2011. She lives and works in Warsaw and Berlin.

The New York run of Casting Call is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Family Business Gallery, with additional support from Postmasters Gallery and the Moving Image Video Art Fair.
Production by Bunker Media New York.

PRESS CONTACT: Paulina Bebecka,, 212.239.7300 ext. 3011 or Kamila Sławińska,, 212.239.7300 ext. 3009

WHAT: CASTING CALL – audition, book signing and presentation of video works
WHEN:May 29 – June 2, 2012
Tue, May 29 & Wed, May 30: 11 am – 6 pm: Exhibition open for viewing
Thu, May 31: 11 am – 6 pm: Casting Call
6 – 9 pm: Reception, book signing and dance party with Disck Jock Ivan
Fri, June 1: 11 am – 6 pm: Casting Call
Sat, June 2: 11 am – 6 pm: Exhibition open for viewing

WHERE:Family Business Gallery, 520 W. 21st St., New York, NY

ADMISSION: Free and open for audience. To guarantee a spot please email with your preferred date and time or inquire onsite. Participants will be required to sign a release form, and those under 18 will require written permission from a parent or guardian.

DIRECTIONS: Subway C, E to 23rd St; M14 bus to Chelsea Piers


The POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE NEW YORK, established in 2000, is a diplomatic mission to the United States serving under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The Institute’s mission is to build, nurture and promote cultural ties between the United States and Poland by presenting Polish culture to American audiences and by connecting Polish artists and scholars to American institutions, introducing them to their professional counterparts in the United States, and facilitating their participation in contemporary American culture.

The Institute has been producing and promoting a broad range of cultural events in theater, music, film, literature, the humanities, and visual arts. Among its American partners are such distinguished organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Brooklyn Academy of Music; The Museum of Modern Art; The Jewish Museum; The PEN American Center; The Poetry Society of America; National Gallery of Art; Yale University; Columbia University; Princeton University; Harvard Film Archive; CUNY Graduate Center; Julliard School of Music; The New Museum; La MaMa E.T.C.; and many more. Our programs have included American presentations of works by such luminaries as filmmakers Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Skolimowski; writers Czesław Miłosz , Adam Zagajewski and Wisława Szymborska; composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and Mikołaj Górecki; theatre directors Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor and Grzegorz Jarzyna; visual artists Krzysztof Wodiczko, Katarzyna Kozyra, Artur Żmijewski; and many other important artists, writers, historians, scholars, musicians, and performers.

FAMILY BUSINESS is a new exhibition space initiated by artist Maurizio Cattelan and curator Massimiliano Gioni. Located in the heart of Chelsea, FAMILY BUSINESS is a guest house – a place where friends, enemies, people they admire and respect are invited to present the works of artists they support and projects they believe in. It is the big brother of the Wrong Gallery, a minuscule space that Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick ran in New York from 2002 to 2005. Just like the Wrong Gallery, FAMILY BUSINESS is a non-for-profit space open to experimentation and irreverent exhibition formats.

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