Joanna Rajkowska, ‘Painkillers’
17 September - 24 October 2015
l’étrangère is delighted to announce Painkillers, which brings into conversation new and existing sculptural works by the Polish artist, Joanna Rajkowska. Noted for her ambitious interventions in public space, as well as her objects, films, photography, installations and ephemeral actions, Rajkowska’s practice interrogates individual and collective bodies as politicised sites of historical, ideological and psychological conflict. For her inaugural exhibition at l’étrangère, Rajkowska unites two object-based series under the rubric, Painkillers, in order to explore the at times uncomfortable connections between modern warfare, healing systems and the practices of Western science.
At the centre of these troubling relationships is a new series produced especially for the exhibition. Painkillers II (2015) continues Rajkowska’s on-going interest in the paradoxical interrelation of military weapons and pharmaceuticals, whereby the artist makes casts from modern weapons and ‘weaponised’ objects out of resin and powdered analgesics. Through extended research into case studies involving medicinal manufacturers in the facilitation of biological weaponry, Rajkowska confronts a set of disturbing and historically-obscured (mis)uses of scientific knowledge and power.