Monika Czyzyk: BOdyssey / Exhibition Laboratory / 21.9.–9.10.2016

Clock icon 21. September 2016 - 9. October 2016

BOdyssey is a video art project and installation that will incorporate looped projections, paintings, a photographic archive and sculptural elements that create a futuristic international communication center in which the public is invited to explore and collaborate by speculating on the technological, social and advancement of post-human kind. 

The device at the center of both video production and installation is a toy camera: the Barbie Cam. Barbie Cam is a 2010 special edition Barbie doll with a video camera and playback unit embedded in its body. Artist Monika Czyzyk was introduced to this instrument and to real time video processing while being a resident artist at Signal Culture in Upstate New York.

In BOdyssey Czyzyk uses the Barbie Cam for its symbolic content and as an actual recording device. The project intends to build upon the role of female characters in Homer’s Odyssey, as well as in Stanley Kubrick’s pivotal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. These seminal works constitute the stepping stones for Astronaut Barbie’s quest into the future of the human species.

For the installation Czyzyk has been shooting a Barbie Cam film which is her own personal Odyssey, and has come to develop multifarious characters through the doll’s lens. During her quest she was granted the chance to meet fascinating female characters, whether professional filmmakers or everyday heroines, with different cultural origins and unusual perspectives on life.

She has invited them to participate in the project by providing them with their own Barbie Cam and with the request to film their respective viewpoints and perspectives of the times we are living in. She has asked these women to put forth their personal comments and statements, along with whatever playfulness they might be triggered to devise, while discovering the characteristics of the Barbie Cam as both camera and minor female character.

Czyzyk sent out on the BOdyssey mission seventeen Barbie Cam dolls with the expectation that some of them will come back to her and that they will screen their stories at Exhibition Laboratory, from September 21 to October 9, 2016 in Helsinki. 

During the exhibition there will be a weekly schedule of thematically linked curated screenings and performance events that will unfold in several different areas of the gallery site. The first event which will take place on the 22nd of September is called Open Perfect. This screening series is co-curated with the filmmaker Leslie Thornton who will also be onsite to introduce the program. 

Events during the exhibition:

Please note that the has been some changes and additions to the programme. 

30/09/2016 13:00-18:00

BOdyssey workshop: audience is invited to create their own video with the Barbie camera which will become a part of the BOdyssey film.

02/10/2016 14:00-16:00

BOdyssey is supporting a Protest of women from Poland. On Sunday with the Academy of Fine Art students Katarzyna Kosieradzka and Bogna Wisniewska we will make small black hangers, which are a symbol of illegal abortion practices to demonstrate against the Polish government who wants to completely ban abortion. Read more here:

03/10/2016 15:00

The Barbies will join and film a strike of Polish women in Helsinki Senate Square. Everybody is welcome to join – there are 15 barbies available. We will meet on Monday 03/10 at 15:00 in Exhibition Laboratory, and then go together to a demonstration which will start at 16:00. Videos from the demonstration will be shown in the gallery.

06/10/2016 11:30-13:00

Welcome to Monika Czyzyk’s Master Seminar in Exhibition Laboratory

07/10/2016 17:00-18:00

Screening of Period Stories by Charlotte Forsgård, 19:38 min, 2015,
Premiere of BOdyssey film, single channel video edited from footage made by participants of BOdyssey and the artist.

08/10/2016 16:00-16:40

MEMORYBOXin – BOdyssey dance performance

Choreography: Riina Koivisto
Performers: Julie Gasnier and Riina Koivisto
Music: Pierre AGUT
Clothing: Anu GOULD

09/10/2016 17:00-17:40

MEMORYBOXin – BOdyssey dance performance

Choreography: Riina Koivisto
Performers: Julie Gasnier and Riina Koivisto
Music: Pierre AGUT
Clothing: Anu GOULD

MEMORYBOXin is a performance for two female characters, who find their way in a spatial order through diverse rituals: measures, manipulations, adaptations, memories. They create relationships with external forms and forces. They try to identify themselves not only through the similarity but also through the differences, trying to be aware of the sense of « oneness » in the observable world.