Weekly Conversations... with Magda Buczek

© Magda Buczek

Meet Polish artist Magda Buczek. So far she was an artist in residence in Mexico, U.S. and Ice-land. In her practice visual mediums as photography, drawing and video overlap with text, performance and found footage. An outcome is a multichannel collage of pop culture mythologies, initiatory adolescent rituals and narratives in between online and offline realities.
Magda Buczek was a resident at studio das weisse haus, where she was preparing for her next project.

What is the project, you are working on during your residency in the studio das weisse haus?

Right now me and the team of weisse haus are gathering first impressions, I have just started to build the concept of this project. The outcome should be, hopefully, seductive. An immersive sound walk about the city of Vienna. I would like to look at the city as an infinite archive, a space of ongoing performance. The connection between performance and archive is pretty clear because perfor-mance should or should not be documented and documentation becomes a part of an archive. Currently everybody is using numerous digital platforms to repre-sent and mediate individual experience. There is a Nintendo quit screen sentence: “everything not saved will be lost”. It is a good reference to the madness of hoarding data, archive fever, us compulsively mirroring ourselves. So this urban collective performance is self-documenting with countless copies and versions of reality.

Did you choose Vienna especially for this project or you think this project could be done in any other big city?

It can be done in every city, but what makes this project unique is Vienna itself. Because in every other city, the project would be totally different. My personal impression of this city is very intense because as Polish South Silesian I claim its historical and cultural herritage. Also, on a very basic, sensual level, I like strolling and window-shopping outside of the city centre. The DIY arrangements of Viennese old shops and their vitrines are fascinating. In the space where everything is determined by marketing strategies those are the places of relatively free visual expression of their hosts. Most surprising assemblages, surreal wunder-kammers closed in glass cabinets and exposed to street life. In a way they resemble screens of our personal devices. Love them.

In your artworks, you are greatly inspired by online and offline realities, work with many pop culture references and social media platforms.

The two ways of presence (online and offline) are not battling, they are just overlapping. And it is the most fascinating space, the unknown. I would say it does not limit our experience of reality and ourselves, it enhances them. We become “more and less than one”.
To the question about location-based projects, Magda Buczek offered a very simplified explanation of the space in her artworks: ,,Let’s take a Skype conversation for example. The face of your interlocutor is not the only thing you see on your screen. You can always notice the space surrounding the face. Is this space a physical space or part of the portrait? Are you also in dialogue with the place then? Would this person stage it or is it accidental? Can you experience a city though the screen or other person’s story?”