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Relative Intensity: Family Politics at Jerwood Space

December 12, 2013 by in Reviews

Litro, 12 December 2013

Maybe it’s because the hanging is a month old and secured only by ball head pins, but the outsized prints of Joanna Piotrowska’s FROWST are curling at the edges like bedroom posters or snapshots tacked and forgotten on corkboard. They’re family photos made static and huge on a current of anxiety, fretting tableaux of overridden bodies and strained poses, and they’re already in meltdown. Someone in a velour tracksuit droops over an (almost) naked man in a lawn chair, headless except for the jut of a jaw, and two men recline in underwear on a rug: we’re intruding on an intimacy, or at least a physical proximity, if an unheimlich one. Piotrowska photographed family members, but the relationships are uneasily ambiguous, the tightness of the poses worrisome. A woman holds a grown man under the arms like a baby, but the possibility they aren’t mother and son nags. Even more disquieting is the private pose of VII, as a woman stiffly straddles a man crammed between tables and we stare over her shoulder. The prints are large, to linger on and knock us with the buzzing tensions in these poses, the strain of being so close.

Read more at Litro.

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