Head Wig (Portrait of an exhibition) - Camden Art Centre

For Head-Wig (Portrait of an exhibition) artist Paulina Olowska selected a number of works by twelve international artists, which all revolve around ideas of perceptual ambiguity in relation to portraiture.

The exhibition originated from Olowska’s interest in a painting by Polish artist Józef Mehoffer Portrait of wife on yellow background, dating from 1907. Mehoffer’s painting depicts an elegantly dressed lady with a large hat; however, when viewed from another angle it could also portray a monster with a golden eye.

Olowska expanded on this dual vision, selecting works that can be seen as portraits one way or another. Some related directly to the person, such as Cindy Sherman’s photographs and paintings by Jarosław Bauć and Katharina Wulff. Others by Simon Ling and Elka Krajewska are more ambiguous and a third group presents bizarre narratives (Nina Köennemann, Ken Okiishi and Catherine Sullivan). The labyrinth of images distorted the space of the gallery in such a way that a narrative arises between the different pieces.

The exhibition as a whole was like a mise-en-abyme, a hall of mirrors, in which the outrageous, the hysterical and the intimate all spoke to one another, sharing the same psychic space. Altogether, the works formed a unique constellation where clichés become surreal and the usual uncanny.


Images The Artists Related events Supporters

The Artists

Artists include: Jarosław Bauć, Simon Ling, Nina Könnemann, Elka Krajewska, Ken Okiishi, Paulina Olowska, Mathilde Rosier, Cindy Sherman, Catherine Sullivan, Cathy Wilkes, Katharina Wulff and Jakub Julian Ziółkowski.

Artist Film and Feature Film selected by Paulina Olowska

Wednesday 7 October, 6.30 – 9.00pm
Catherine Sullivan, Morbid Naturalism (from The Chittendens), 2005
Faces, (dir. John Cassavetes, 1968)

Artist Film and Feature Film selected by Paulina Olowska

Wednesday 21 October, 6.30 – 9.00pm
Nina Könnemann, Pleasure Beach, 2001
Three Women (dir. Robert Altman, 1977)

Exhibition Talk: Jan Verwoert

Wednesday 28 October, 7.00 – 8.30pm
Making faces – feelings as facts between people
Writer and critic Jan Verwoert discussed the exhibition and Olowska’s approach to its selection

Artist Film and Feature Film selected by Paulina Olowska

Wednesday 4 November, 6.30 – 9.00pm
Trailer for Ken Okiishi’s Goodbye To Manhattan, 2009
L’important c’est d’aimer (dir. Adrzej Zulawski, 1975)