Sława Harasymowicz: Radio On

Narrative Projects, London

17 June – 30 July 2016

 Private View: Friday 17 June, 6-8pm

Radio On is the second ‘chapter’ in a three-part multi-disciplinary exhibition by artist Sława Harasymowicz. Begun at Centrala Gallery in Birmingham in 2015 with a final evocation at the Poetry Library in London later this year, the project fuses biography, newly commissioned writing and documentary records to explore one of the biggest WWII maritime disasters. The event – obscured in history and clouded in ambiguity – operates for Harasymowicz as a springboard to challenge political and cultural amnesia.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a new sound installation in the form of a radio broadcast, dramatising real activity that took place in a German concentration camp towards the end of the war. As a way of exploring the impact of the event, and as a test for the potentiality of new narrations when they start circulating through her artworks, the artist has recorded a live performance in Sigmund Freud’s former study at the Freud Museum, North London. It presents an aural collage of performed testimonials, fiction, poetry, scientific research, experimental writing and sound distortions.

Additionally, the installation in the front room of the gallery evokes an echo chamber of sorts in which attenuation, absorption, scattering and signal degradation are executed in nonfigurative forms as almost theatrical props in a warped transmitting-receiving activity.

Both the timed, hourly broadcasts as well as the omnipresent sonic landscape form the pulse of this richly textured installation, which foregrounds the spatial and temporal nature of sound and utilises sound waves and its frequencies as a particular form of reenactment – an archive endlessly insisting on its present and relevance.

About the Artist

Sława Harasymowicz is a visual artist and a PhD candidate at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Her work in progress includes a project in collaboration with BWA Gallery in Tarnów, Poland (2017), supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Forthcoming exhibitions include Layered Narratives: Collage/Photomontage/Print, l’etrangere, London (June-July 2016). Recent solo exhibitions include H.N.5 515, Centrala, Birmingham (2015), Ersatz, Ethnographic Museum, Kraków (2014), and Wolf Man, Freud Museum, London (2012), following the publication of a graphic novel Wolf Man (Self Made Hero, 2012). Her publishing collaborations have included Penguin Books, The Guardian, Le Gun and Modern Poetry in Translation. Harasymowicz is a recipient of a number of awards for published work including V&A Illustration Awards and the Arts Foundation Fellowship. Her work is held in the V&A Permanent Prints and Drawings Collection, National Museum in Poznań, and other collections internationally.


Curated by Dominik Czechowski


In partnership with Centrala Gallery, Birmingham and the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

With thanks to Polish Cultural Institute and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.

Additional thanks to: Freud Museum, London; International Tracing Service ITS-Arolsen; Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial; Pomorska Historical Museum Kraków.