Residency artists and researchers

Media and video art

Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek

Artist, researcher, biologist

Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek. Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

During my residency I will work on a project exploring human–plant relationships. This is a topic that I have been exploring for several years: first as a hard-boiled scientist, then as an environmental educator, and finally as an artist. My main inspiration is the Plant Blindness Syndrome, a contemporary phenomenon connected to the fact that we stopped noticing trees, shrubs and herbs that are surrounding us. We learn about plants not by experiencing nature, but by reading about scientific discoveries made in international laboratories or as commercial products. The dynamic changes in human world are reflected in the changing relationships between humans and plants.

During my stay at Saari I would like to experiment with sound and visual recordings and editing, dig into theoretical texts on embodied knowledge about plants, and most importantly develop my new work that explores the close micro-sounds that are created when human bodies touch plant bodies. I plan to bridge all of this in a new performative workshop tentatively titled “The Professional Orchestra of Plant Amateurs”.

Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek is a visual artist and biologist based in Poland. A graduate of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, the Faculty of Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and Biology at the University of Warsaw, Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek worked for many years in the Botanic Garden of the University of Warsaw. The axis of her interests is the complex web of interrelationships and tensions between humans and the “more-than-human world”, which is created by beings such as trees, toads, mosses and mushrooms. Her artistic practice bridges art and science. A member of the ZAKOLE Group, which focuses on finding ways to tell and experience areas such as swamps and to show the perspective of the creatures inhabiting them (ZAKOLE.PL). Co-author of the award-winning artbook “Tropicale” (together with photographer Łukasz Gniadek), which deals with the connection between botany and colonialism. She operates not only in the visual sphere, but also as a writer and animator of various types of social activities and workshops.