Born in Bytom, Poland anna Baranowski currently lives and works in Leipzig, Germany.

As a conceptual artist Anna Baranowski works on omnipresent, existential questions of the human being in highly diminished and accented way. She always uses documentary material in her works. The techniques vary between video installation, photography, sculpture and interventions in the media public space. An always returning subject of her works is the struggle between power and faint in nowadays society. In doing so, she looks at historical legacies in everyday life and reflects collective psychological phenomena of human behaviour. Observations of humans in the mass-media discourse serve as the resource for her social studies. In the field of experimental film Anna Baranowski focusses on Direct Cinema. In addition to her own in detail composed cinematic images, the use of archival footage is central to her experimental films. She uses a wide variety of sources, such as amateur footage, NASA or military footage. By taking them out of their original context, her works unleash new meanings. In her artful collages there are always sequences that jar, that if anything skew obvious expectations and for that very reason trigger inner processes.

Her Installation „My mom always told me I could make gold out of shit, but diamonds are a girl's best friend“ deals with the collective dream in our society of reaching fame and fortune with little effort and less work. With a simple portrait using the quintessential symbol of opulence, Anna Baranowski questions the concept of value in the 'piece of art'. From the most personal, yet least valued by-product of the artists existence - her excrement - the carbon has been extracted to press a real diamond in the HPHT procedure within 5 months. Sparkling in the mystical garment of the Wenge sculpture, the diamond takes-on the deep inky black of its velvety home and offers stolen shards of reflected light to the voyeur’s eye. An intimate communion is evoked by a custom lens, drawing the diamond into sharp clarity only if the distance between sculpture and eye is less than a few millimeters. The surreal, floating gemstone hints at the creation of stars and the madness of infinity, encased there in the corporeal Wenge sculpture to lend boundary and safe passage to its acquaintance. Anna Baranowski's method shows a parallel to the dynamic of the art market. Idea > treatment of a worthless material > creating a form > final grinding > presentation in the right light > appointment to art > placement in the art context > entrenching at places of prestige: All these steps generate the value of a piece of art. The art market determines the fall or rise of an artist. Thus the artist is utterly dependent upon critics and patrons of their epoch. This is nothing new, however, it also requires not only the application to art, the publication of the work and the absorbtion of society, but also the total exposure of the artist in their exhibitionist act. The artist must at once be whore and pimp; risking being discredited in the search for credibility in the art world... or worse... to risk to be ignored.

© Anna Baranowski 'My mom always told me I could make gold out of shit but diamonds are a girl's best friend'

Diamond (0,18ct) pressed out of the ash from 4kg’s of human excrement Sculpture formed out of Wenge wood 165 x 25 x 25 cm with engraving and view.


25th of January until 09th of March 2019