Zuza Banasińska
Artist in Residence

‘Il Nuovo Grand Tour’, French Institute in Italy


In partnership with the Institute of France in Italy’s ‘Il Nuovo Grand Tour’ program, we welcomed Polish visual artist Zuza Banasińska. Zuza’s essay films and installations utilize video, game engines, sound and sculpture to animate spectral realities sedimented within archives. The subsequent works create complex ecosystems that challenge unitary notions of identity, gender, and representation.

During my residency I’ve been thinking about traces – ghostly marks of an encounter between the self and the world, between being and surface. I’ve experimented with a series of prints which I’ve titled “Spoleto skyboxes”. In game engines, a skybox encloses the game terrain in a 6-tile cube, creating an infinite map of the surrounding environment, whose edge can never be reached. In my skyboxes I’ve used photographs of another tool for infinite world-building: a blue/green screen glove, reconfiguring it into the horizon line and disrupting representations of Spoleto landscapes. I used the glove in a video experiment as well, in which I produce traces of the city’s surfaces, layering material, bodily and digital gestures.

I left Spoleto mid-session to shoot a new film titled “Kontrewers” in Poland in an area where a stone with controversial petroglyphs had been found. The name of the village, “Kontrewers”, means a dispute over a borderland, while the stone, an archive of impenetrable traces, presents itself as a boundary, or horizon of knowledge. In the project I use the stone as a device for navigating this borderland of multi-temporal relations, constructing a world out of documentary, staged and animated materials. For the open studios I am presenting roughly edited footage from the trip.

Zuza studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, at the Universität der Künste in Berlin in the class of Hito Steyerl, and at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. Their works have been shown in such spaces as the U-Jazdowski CCA in Warsaw, “Dům Umění Mesta Brna” in Czech Republic, “Blindside” in Melbourne, among others. Their work is currently supported by the Netherlands Film Fund and Stimuleringsfonds. It is distributed by EYE Filmmuseum.

Il Nuovo Grand Tour is an initiative of the the Insititute of France in Italy. The program provides opportunities for fifty young European artists, from all disciplines, to carry out research and development residencies in Italy. The project evolved from a desire to imagine what a contemporary version of the historic grand tour might achieve. Il Nuovo Grand Tour aims to promote cultural understanding and dialogue across borders whilst providing inspirational experiences for young artists.

Artist website: zuzabanasinska.com


Grandmamauntsistercat, 2023 video installation, Personeelskamer Amsterdam (NL)