Ronit Porat and Mateusz Choróbski
Nesting
28th april 2015
to 23rd may 2015

Nesting is a term that describes those first awkward movements during attempts to find one’s place in a new situation. It is a primary choreography that has to be performed by each new stranger. It takes place at the crossroads of the two already existing identities where a new one has to find space for itself. Nesting is a series of fittings, comparisons and attempts at reconnaissance. It is an ephemeral phenomenon, often broken in pieces of unrelated events, misunderstandings and slight traces, which seems to describe neighborhood perfectly. It also reflects the nature of art residencies, a constant change of addresses done by contemporary artists, who often do not get much besides nesting.

On the basis of these associations, Ronit Porat and Mateusz Choróbwski built a joint project called Nesting. It was created using archives from Nowiny Gliwickie, a newspaper saved by Jerzy Lewczyński, and the actions within the architecture of Dom Funkcjonalny. This project is a culmination of almost two-year-long efforts made by the duo of artist to cooperate.

Israeli artist Ronit Porat first met Mateusz Choróbski during her residency in Dom Kereta. Around that time, during Warsaw Gallery Weekend, her work Hippocampus was exhibited in Asymetria. It presented the issue of memory and identity recognized by the testimony of younger generations. This material was confronted with joint works by Wojciech Plewiński and Józef Szajny, called Reminiscencje, a series of collages/self-portraits of one another, in which they faced the trauma of Auschwitz. Simultaneously, on the upper floor of Dom Funkcjonalny, the second exhibition was presented, called Long Delayed Reunion by Mateusz Choróbski. In the form of investigation, the artist looked for explanation of the silenced story of his grandfather and his grandmother’s sudden emigration to America.

Since then, both artists declared the will to cooperate and connect their creative strategies. Exhibition Nesting prepared for the end of April, is the fulfillment of those wishes. Artists want to address in different ways the shared issues of neighborhood and memory. For this purpose, they will use not only their own experience, but also the concepts of Jerzy Lewczyński, whose legacy is taken care of by Fundacja Asymatria.

The project will be realized as a part of the yearly project of Galeria Asymetria: Asymetryczny Jerzy Lewczyński.

Nesting. The project is co-financed by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. 

22.04.2015 23:50:15

Curator's note

Nesting is a term that defines these first awkward moments when one is trying to find his or her place in a new situation. It is a clumsy, primary choreography that has to be performed by each new stranger. It takes place at the crossroads of two already existing identities, where a new one has to find space for itself. Notably, it is not about identity with the capital “I”, rather identities of the sort that for long remain unnamed and undefined, constituting the common everyday.

As a result of the undertaken searches and encounters with them, nesting can be seen as a series of fittings, comparisons, and reconnaissance. It is a phenomenon which, due to its ephemeral scale, is often broken into seemingly unrelated events, misunderstandings, and slight traces, which seem to aptly describe the condition of proximity. It also reflects the nature of art residencies and constant change of addresses done by contemporary artists, who often do not get much besides nesting.

Nesting involves also a sense of threat stemming from the unpredictability of the process. The only sense of comfort can come from finding resemblances, memories of former places and states. It is in the flashes of memory, in the already tested behaviours, training taken at home, that one can find some stability and energy for the first steps towards the new.

On the crossroads of these steps there must emerge yet another one navigation – related to a map –that allows one to recognise the closest surroundings. This can be found even in a newspaper with everyday information. However, the information written in a language unknown to the nesting person and referring to the things and people which one had not had a chance to know, consist only a signal for identification of the limits of one’s comfort, it defines the luggage with which one needs to move.

This sense of distorting weight leads to one more development of the concept of nesting. This time, it refers to the idea of ergonomics, which usually means the science of adapting work to human psychophysical abilities. However, in this particular case, what is interesting is the question about the reversibility of this process. In what way the work and new conditions correct and shape an individual? Even through macro-corrections, through detaching and adding particles that can appear in the course of nesting.

On the basis of these associations, Ronit Porat and Mateusz Choróbwski built a joint project. Ronit Porat’s works were created mostly using the archives from Nowiny Gliwickie, a newspaper saved by Jerzy Lewczyński. Without referring to the facts illustrated initially by these photographs, the artist constructs a story full of uncertainties, aided by her own memories activated by the material she selected. This incomplete navigation offered by pictures taken out of the newspaper documentation, reveals the look of someone from the outside, who negotiates anew the image of the collected set.

Mateusz Choróbski, on the other hand, integrates his work with the building of Dom Funkcjonalny. On the terrace on top of the villa there is an electric insect trap made of shining copper. Its structure contains this two-faced potential of the promise of the new. On the one hand, it seduces one with its attractive, shining form, on the other, it seems to bring forth a threat of falling into a trap. The act of struggle in the trap leaves visible traces on the copper.

The exhibition is made complete by a shared element, the first moment of nesting consisting in stepping across a threshold of somebody else’s space. Hence, Choróbski’s act of placing in the gallery space a wooden step coming originally from the building at 16 Jakubowska Street. Only after stepping over it one might take a closer look at Ronit Porat’s work.

Nesting is a culmination of almost two-year-long efforts made by the duo of artist to cooperate.


The Israeli artist Ronit Porat first met the Polish artist Mateusz Choróbski in 2013 during her residency at Dom Kereta. At the time, during Warsaw Gallery Weekend, her work Hippocampus was exhibited at Asymetria Gallery. It addressed the issue of memory and identity recognized through the testimony of younger generations. Simultaneously, on the upper floor of Dom Funkcjonalny, the second Exhibition at Asymetria Gallery was presented, Mateusz Choróbski’s Long Delayed Reunion. In the form of investigation, the artist looked for explanation of the silenced story of his grandfather and his grandmother’s sudden emigration to America.


From that moment on, both artists have declared a will to collaborate and combine artistic strategies. Nesting is a fulfilment of these wishes. The artists address issues of proximity and memory that are close to them both.


The project is realised within the framework of the all-year-long programme of Asymetria Gallery: The Assymetric Jerzy Lewczyński.


Jakub Śwircz

28.04.2015 15:42:12

Ronit Porat was born in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, northern Israel, in 1975. She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Chelsea School of Art and Design in London, and a B.A. in Photography and Digital Media from the Hadassah College in Jerusalem, which she completed with Distinction. Porat works in the medium of photography, and includes archival materials and biographical texts in her installations. Her work was exhibited internationally in group and solo shows, and can be found in private collections. Porat is a member of the cooperative Indie Photography Gallery.

Porat received the American-Israel Cultural Foundaton Grant twice between 2002 and 2004, the Ted Arison Family Foundation Scholarship for Emerging Artists in 2012, and Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sport Creativity Encouragement Prize for 2013. She participated in several artist residency programmes, including: Hotel Pupik (Austria, 2007); SVA Summer Residency (New York, 2008); ARTPORT Residency (Tel Aviv-Jafa, 2013); Keret House Artsts’ Residency (Warsaw, 2013); and Castrum Pergrini (Amsterdam, 2014).


Mateusz Choróbski was born in Włoszczowa in 1987. He graduated from University of Arts in Poznań (2011), Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2013) and inter-university media department in The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. He received the Scholarships from the Minister of Culture (2014), the Minister of Education (2012) and the Marshal of the Łódź Voivodeship (2012). He has been listed as one of the 11 of the most promising young polish artists in the ranking published by “Obieg” magazine (2014).

His works were exhibited in solo shows, such as Blue Bird in Zona Sztuki Aktualnej in Szczecin (2015), I was maddened by sunlight. I felt like laughing in Arsenał Gallery in Białystok (2015), The Draught in Another Vacant Space in Berlin (2013), Long delayed Reunion in Asymetria Modern in Warsaw (2013) and also in group shows: Gateways in KUMU in Tallin (2011), Precipitations in Another Vacant Space during Berlin Art Week (2014), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner in BWA Katowice together with Anna Orłowska (2014). 

15.04.2015 15:51:24

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