Catalogue text by Fabio Zuker
Iza Tarasewicz’s art practice explores states of permanence and ephemerality in the transformations generated by time and space. Her artworks explore matter and its plasticity by placing themselves in the blurry zone between natural and artificial, ordinary and extraordinary. Her process often consists of breaking up, deconstructing and reconstructing objects and materials in an effort to contemplate other forms of existing within the space and relating to the world and the body.
Turba, Turbo (2015) takes her research further with the use of organic and mineral materials to compose an installation whose structure is based on different references, from a 1930’s flower stand to Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider. Tarasewicz is precisely interested in how difficult it is to imagine a machine that can accelerate invisible particles in the speed of light and to grasp the idea of chaos to explain the origins of the Universe. In her installation, the artist aims to materialise the chaos, in which turbulence and collisions are understood as the cause of constant change.
In Mbamba Mazurek (2016), Tarasewicz investigates the rhythm and dance of the Mazurka. Originated in a rural area of a small Polish territory in the 16th century called Mazovia, the Mazurka is a folk dance where there is no hierarchy between musicians and dancers and its rhythm replicates the cadence of work in the fields. For local people, music and dance played a crucial role in preserving their communities, bringing them together and building their collective sensibility. For Tarasewicz, it is equally important that, even though the Mazurka’s metric structure is rigid, the ways in which it is played and danced varies from place to place.
Over the centuries, the Mazurka spread across Europe. In the 19th century, it conquered the salons of the rich French elite with the help of its appropriation by Frédéric Chopin’s compositions, moving on to Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Holland, Spain and Portugal. No matter where it went, the Mazurka was integrated and combined with local popular tunes, plunging local communities into high-spirited parties without losing its essence, and this has strengthened its reputation of resistance.
The Mazurka finally crossed the ocean, reaching the Azores, Cuba, Mexico, Philippines and Brazil. The exact origins of the Mazurka in Brazil are unknown but it is believed that it arrived with the Scots and the English and was transformed into forró by blending it with other unconventional rhythms in the process. The reference was immortalised in the voice of singer, songwriter and musician Luiz Gonzaga – the king of forró: “Mazurka, good old Mazurka / We’re still dancing to it in my hinterland / When I hear the Mazurka / Outside or in the ballroom / Boys and girls / Get moving their feet on the floor / Play it, singer, play it ‘cause it’s good / Play the Mazurka in my hinterland”.
Tarasewicz is attracted to the way in which local cultures are connected to elements from distant places in an attempt to resist globalisation. In the same way the use of materials is transformed in Turba, Turbo, in Mbamba Mazurek the language of folk music is appropriated, translated and displaced without losing part of what it is as a mechanism of resistance in the face of life’s instabilities and uncertainties.