Ryszard Waśko

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Born in Nysa, Poland. Polish artist, who has worked in multimedia, including photography, film, video, installation, painting, and drawing. He is also known as a curator and organizer of art events. Lives in Berlin.

As a child he took painting-classes planning to become a painter and wanting to study at the Art Academy in Krakow. But instead of making his childhood dream come true, he made up his mind and went to Lodz, where he studied cinematography at the Film School between 1970 and 1975. During that time he became a member of Workshop of the Film Form, one of the most important artistic groups in Poland in the 70s. Workshop was an avant-garde collective of painters, filmmakers, critics, poets, philosophers and scientists, working with experimental film and multimedia. Later on Ryszard Wasko became a lecturer in the departments of experimental media and photography at the Film School in Lodz.

In the 70s he took part in the XII São Paulo Art Biennial, documenta 6, the Third International Festival of Indepdendent Avant-garde Film in London, the Sydney Biennale, the XI Biennale de Paris, the V Biennale of Spatial Forms among others. He also created the Archives of Contemporary Thought (1979), a forum for symposia and art events.

After dealing with experimental film and photography, Wasko started to develop his painting skills again. "Wasko discovered himself as an artist and learned how to cope with everyday life with a greater vision of the world than simply the provincial circumstances of life." He left the Workshop of the Film Form and came to prominence as a conceptual artist. "After studying film-making at the Academy in Lodz in the late sixties, Wasko went on to become one of Poland's leading conceptualists, working as a pioneer in the media of video and photography. Much of this work focused on dense mathematical structures involving sequences of time and reality." His artistic output should be actually seen as a connection of two main fields: photography&film and painting. "(...) the character of Ryszard Wasko's work in general, as well as the character of his individual works, is often defined by inter-generic, inter-media relations. Those works set in motion a whole net of intertextual relations on the level of general structural and ontological determinants, and on the level of different types of perception and rules of interpretation. In other words, in order to grasp a work which belongs to a certain artistic genre in its specificity, one should refer to its non-specific features which are characteristic for another kind of art."

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See also: Poland#Video_art