Polina Kanis

The Procedure

Curated by 
Daniel Milnes

The Procedure

Haus der Kunst, Munich

9 September 2017 – 15 April 2018

Capsule 08 is curated by Daniel Milnes

The capsule exhibitions at the Haus der Kunst offeryoung, international emerging artists the opportunity to present new works inan institutional context. The fourth edition of the exhibition series pairs theColombian-born, London-based artist Oscar Murillo and the Russian media artistPolina Kanis.

Polina Kanis (born 1985 in Leningrad, now StPetersburg) has consistently reconsidered the boundaries between film,photography and performance. Kanis’ early videos saw the artist performdifferent roles, such as that of a teacher, or a fitness instructor forpensioners. Her subsequent works, however, bear witness to a shift towards amore cinematic mode of moving image production with Kanis now working behindthe camera. Marked by a distinct tension between the scenario depicted and theworld that lies beyond the frame, Kanis’ works show how hierarchical systems ofpower bring about shifts and perversions in relationships between individuals.

Expanding upon a practice consisting chiefly ofsingle-channel videos, Polina Kanis has developed a new, immersivethree-channel installation for her exhibition at the Haus der Kunst. In The Procedure (2017), Kanis takes afictional museum building as the starting point for her meditations oncollectivity and division. Lying in ruins after an unknown disaster, anyattempts to ascertain what has happened to the building elicit the sameresponse from the people interviewed: “I saw nothing.”

The Proceduretracks the conventions and mechanisms that have developed during the period ofthe museum’s reconstruction. As the sequences unfold the viewer becomes privyto a hermetically sealed system, with the building and the surrounding forestnow forming an exclusion zone. Access to the outside world is permitted onlyafter completing the routine procedure of questioning and body search in theborder zone.

Employing her typically laconic style, Kanis uses themicrocosm of the museum building to address issues of exclusion,marginalisation and liminality. As we begin to unravel the logic of thisuniverse, we realise that the unknown event which has led the characters tothis point has become secondary to the procedure that has developed in itswake.

Polina Kanis graduated from the Rodchenko Art School,Moscow, in 2011, the same year in which she was awarded the Kandinsky Prize inthe category “Best Young Artist” for her video Eggs (2010). In 2016, Kanis received the Sergey Kuryokhin Award inthe category “Media Object” for her film ThePool (2015). Her work has been featured in numerous solo and groupexhibitions, including the Parallel Program of Manifesta 10 and the 2015edition of the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art. As of January2017, Kanis is part of the residency programme at the Rijksakademie vanbeeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.




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