Artur Zmijevski

80064, Poland, 2004

Video, 11 min

Courtesy of Foksal Gallery foundation, Warsaw

In this video film Arthur Zmjievski persuades Joseph Tarnwe, a 92 year old World War II concentration camp survivor, to “renew” the number tattooed on his arm. As Tarnwe remembers, the terms for survival in the camp were absolute conformity. Zmjievski creates in this film a situation reconstructing acts of consent and submission.

What appears in both Zmijevski’s films in this exhibition to be simple documentary filming is actually strictly staged to impose power and control over the characters to break all the unwritten rules of what is considered “politically correct”. By brutal artistic devices which impose the sort of control which has pre-ordained results , Zmijevski re-opens the discussion of suppressed social issues which preoccupy us still, whether knowingly or unknowingly.