In her work, director, singer, and performer Maria Magdalena Kozłowska (PL/NL) explores the connecting and revolutionary potential of the human voice. With classical singing, music, video, visual art, and live performance, she creates performances and interventions that bridge the gap between individual and society, tradition and transition, past, present, and future. In COMMUNE (Frascati Producties, 2021), a tribute to female protest worldwide, classical music becomes the shared language of dissent. Opera to the People!
Nothing is as personal and intimate as the human voice. At the same time, it is our voice which we use to express ourselves, to connect with others, to share our thoughts and emotions, to put the past into words, to engage in politics, and to make imaginable what is not yet so. This versatility is a leitmotif in Kozłowska’s work.
Earlier this season, in collaboration with theatre-maker Pankaj Tiwari, Kozłowska brought the ‘elitist’ art form of opera to the public space of Amsterdam’s canals with the floating performance Opera to the People (2021). For European Songs (2019), a performance about the history and future of Europe, Kozłowska developed a new European language as a starting point for a utopian communication strategy. In the mini-opera Meditation on the Archive, she raised critical questions about ‘archiving strategies’ and the collective European memory.
In previous works, Kozłowska focused on the interaction between changing economic relations, identity, and (family) traditions in Poland (I’ve Had Enough (2019)) and on whether rituals and spirituality still have a role to play in the current capitalist system (Sirota or how to be forgotten (2018), Working Songs (2017)). She also did an impressive solo about changing notions of success and failure in Adolf Hitler’s monumental former study room (Speech (2017).
Maria Magdalena Kozłowska (PL/NL) studied philosophy in Warsaw. She began her artistic career in Poland, where she worked for 12 years. She graduated in 2020 from DAS Theatre at the Amsterdam Academy of Theatre and Dance. Her work was and is shown at various European venues and art institutions, including KW Institute of Contemporary Art (Berlin), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), the Venice Biennale, Come Together (Amsterdam), Belluard Bollwerk Festival (Frijburg), Gessnerallee (Zurich) and the European Cultural Foundation Princess Margriet Award for Culture (Amsterdam). An overview of her video work was shown at the International Film Festival New Horizons in Wroclaw.