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Save As... at Aperto Raum Berlin

Martyna Poznańska’s show Save As..., is an exploration of the complex interrelationship between nature and the human body.  Starting with the endangered Białowieża Forest in Poland, this entanglement between the living forest and the body is metaphorically illustrated via video, sound and mixed media.  Attributes of both seamlessly blend into each other in an environment that is apparently uncontaminated by the political state.  Yet, the fragility of this balance (or imbalance) is palpable in both material and narrative.

The representation of the forest as we perceive it today stems from 19th century Romanticism in Central Europe.  During this period, especially in Germany, the forest acquired metaphoric symbolism for myth, longing, and most importantly, national identity.  As a reaction to the Napoleonic wars (1799-1815) and France’s subsequent defeat by nature at the Russian border, the forest in central Europe takes on a reactionary role in contrast to the urban French ideal.  The painter Casper David Friedrich immortalized the ideal of the pure and wild forest with his magnificent vistas and dramatic lighting – imagery that continues to be used today in the visual depiction of the Romanticized forest.  


text: Christy Woody - curator of the exhibition

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