Born in 1983, Grzegorz Stefański graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland and Photography at the Department of Visual Communication at the University of Arts in Poznań, Poland. Currently, he continues his artistic education at Mirosław Balka Studio of Spatial Activities at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw. In his latest photographic and video projects Grzegorz Stefański introduces suspension of epistemology. He does not accept current state of reality and artificially creates situations at the nexus of psychology, philosophy and ethics. He has presented his works at individual exhibitions (New Facein Lookout Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, Go-See in Zpafiska Gallery, Cracow, Poland, emptybottles in Goldex-Poldex Gallery, Cracow, Poland) as well as at group shows (in Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, in MoMa PS1 in New York, in Bunkier Sztuki Gallery in Cracow, and during Wro Media Art Bienalle in Wroclaw).
Paul is life „broken phone” game performed in Apollonia Foundation in Strasbourg, 22th of November 2015 and recorded on two cameras in the form of torso portraitures. Interpreters were volunteers and met for the first time at the very day of performance. Their task was to listen and remember the story and and pass it on to the next interpreter. They were asked to retell the story from „I” perspective and remain as faithful to remembered details as possible but – if necessary – to fill the gaps of their memory with their own experiences. Starting story was Roberto’s memory of close but ambiguous boy-man relationship with his mysterious uncle – Paul. Paul was Polish and migrated, through several european countries, to French Guiana were he became a step father to Roberto. Cloudy, boyish memories render him as solitary, strict but epic persona who died in unclear circumstanced. Who really was Paul? What is true and what is only a young boy’s fantasy and mythology about this paternal figure? Did he really committed suicide or was an international spy that needed a cover story for his disappearance? The game of mediating private, boyish story through memory and individual experiences of other interpreters seems to be – paradoxically – a test of its authenticity. As if uncertain memory could be confirmed in private experiences of the others. Paul concerns bodies and memory as vessels for narrations that balance between private and public and questions the sharp boundaries between those areas. Anthropological turn towards the prime role of the language poses a question if individual identity is constituted or denied by collective narrations.