Michal Martychowiec (born in 1987) creates conceptual series of photographs, films, drawings, neons, objects, mixed media installations and environments. He is a visiting lecturer at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and visiting scholar at the Russian Institute of Art History in Saint Petersburg. He lives and works in Berlin. Martychowiec is a finalist of the 2021 Berlin Masters Award and recipient of the 2022 Blue Project Foundation Prize.
Martychowiec has a mixed-media practice, with which he produces bodies of work that tease out the political relevance of the Romantic tradition. He often contemplates the contemporary human condition through an ongoing reconstruction and reconsideration of historical narratives, which he presents by relating meaningful locations, historical events, persons or works of art, with a system of symbols that he has developed.
Martychowiec’s inventions are based primarily on thoughts from fields including philosophy, anthropology, art and cultural history and, of course, the analysis of our contemporary culture
and communication. In terms of specific methods, Martychowiec unites artistic and curatorial practices through a twofold arrangement of his work. Initially, he develops projects as individual narratives, each within a field of inquiry. These projects inform one another their symbolic elements are then reenacted and incorporated, through his own and others’ curatorial activities, into later works, where they can acquire new meanings and qualities. Recurrent symbols include the panda, the rabbit named Josephine, and the broken glass or glass crystals.