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Home arrow Autobiography arrow 2006-2022
2006-2022 Print

2006 My Yellow Ship installation project for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale was rejected by the Zachêta National Gallery jury. I proposed to suspend in the air a monumental yellow silk cut-out of an industrial ship with a bridge modelled on the footbridge between the Warsaw ghetto and the Aryan side of the city. The ship would cast a shadow on the Pavilion’s front wall, light would be changing from morning to evening, and the public would listen to the recorded sea sound. The Venice project was too large for my studio, so I downsized The Ship. A smaller version had been scheduled for exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw in 2009, yet my curator was fired. In the end I destroyed the bulk of the Ship and kept only the yellow silhouettes of my passengers — portraits of my parents with my brother and myself as children, and of my grandparents and aunt killed in the Holocaust.        


2007 Yellow Ship passengers were installed and photographed on the banks of river Kamo in Kyoto and on the grounds of the Fushiminari Shrine. The Yellow Ship was my last installation of drawings and cut-outs made after photographs. I shifted to composing natural size “tableaux vivants” from family photographs and autophotographs, enlarged, printed on paper and reworked by hand. 


2009 Kangaroo with the Camera: Autophotography 1959—2009 was  published by Artemis Art Gallery and Frascati, a novel, part II of my autobiographical trilogy, by Wydawnictwo Literackie in Cracow.   


2010 The Yellow Triptych installation, exhibited at the Design Gallery in Wroc³aw, is a “living picture” of my future parents’ meeting in 1942. Miriam Kohany, an escapee from the Lwow ghetto with no place to go, is sitting in on a park bench Karol Kuryluk, active in the resistance and involved in helping Jews, is passing on his way home. In the Triptych I impersonate both mother and father.   


2011 The installation Pony, with my younger brother Peter riding on a pony, was shown at Czytelnia Sztuki in Gliwice, Silesia, my mother’s native region. Pony was inspired by an old snapshot and my mother’s recurrent dream of walking with us to her mother Paulina Kohany across yellow fields.


2016 Don’t Dream About Love, Kuryluk: Retrospective of Painting 1967—1978, was presented at National Museum in Cracow and Human Landscape, Work on Paper, 1959—1975, at Artemis Art Gallery. I was invited for the Retrospective of Yellow Installations at Polin, Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, to be shown in April 2019, so I put myself to work completing my family story.


2018 When all new work for Polin was finished, the Museum cancelled my Yellow Installations Retrospective with a single email. In reaction, two small private galleries, Artemis Art Gallery in Cracow and Ego Gallery in Poznañ, offered to exhibit fragments of my old and new yellow installations. This sign of kindness inspired a new miniature installation.


2019 Cracow 1946, my last yellow installation in miniature, opened a few days after my 73rd birthday at the Artemis Art Gallery in Cracow. 5 May,1946, I was born there and registered as the daughter of Maria Grabowska (the name taken by Miriam Kohany during Nazi occupation), and Karol Kuryluk. Half century after his death I realized, however, that I might be the child of Miriam and her first husband Teddy Gleich. Teddy who also had been helped by Karol, was killed four months after my birth under unknown circumstances. In the installation Cracow 1946 we are all reunited. There is Miriam pregnant with me — a photomontage of my mother’s young face and my own old body, a pillow stuffed under my coat, simulating pregnancy at age 72. There are Karol and Teddy, each holding the baby Ewa. And there is little Ewa smiling from her carriage at a beautiful girl in fancy dress, her grandmother Paulina, the way I know her today — from a photo made in Berlin before World War I. Paulina is standing at the window, her back turned to the train station in Treblinka, where in 1942 she and her younger daughter Hilde were murdered.

Cracow 1946 represents the visual conclusion My Yellow Years 2000—2019, as the Artemis Art Gallery catalogue is titled. At the same time my literary conclusion, Feluni, volume III of my family trilogy, was published by Wydawnictwo Literackie.


2020 Work on volume IV, a novel conceived as a fantastic finale.


2021 White Folds of Time, Retrospective of White Installation 1978 —2000, was presented by the National Museum in Wroc³aw. Ewa Kuryluk is awarded the Julian Tuwim Literary Prize.


2022 I, White Kangaroo, autophotographs, paintings and installations, a collateral event at the 59. Biennale in Venice was presented by the Starak Family Foundation in Warsaw, and The Yellow Years installation by the Ego Gallery in Poznañ. 

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