Agata Szymanek was born in 1990, she lives and works in Mysłowice, Poland. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, where she obtained a doctorate. She is also a certificate student at the New Centre for Research and Practice and a lecturer at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow.
Within artistic and curatorial practice she seeks various methods of engagement in the relations between humans animals, and other environmental agents through dissecting linguistic and culturally produced images of nature. Recently, She has also looked for ways to involve the viewer more in her art practices through visual riddles and conceptual games implied in painting, self-publishing zines and workshop scenarios.
Agata Szymanek is an author of the research publication Spiritual Exercises published in 2020 by the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. The book contains interviews with artists on magical and esoteric motifs in their artworks, shedding new light on these topics on the Polish art scene. In 2022 as a part of the New Centre’s Parallel Academia, she contributed to the program Hyperannotations 2.0 and conducted a series of interviews with artists and curators at the 59th Venice Biennale.
Agata’s curatorial practice is connected to the project Pharmacist, developed in cooperation with the City Museum in Tychy. The project involves pharmacists invited to creative workshops and artists who focus on aspects of healing and care in their work. The planned exhibition will explore working conditions in pharmacies and attempt to restore a space in which nature comes together with knowledge to reach the cosmo-technical roots of this profession.
Agata Szymanek is also interested in educational activities. Her workshops are focused on developing and advancing critical and creative thinking. During her residency at Stiftung Kunstlerdorf Schoppingen in 2022, she conducted The vernacular thinking workshop. In 2020 and 2021 she taught the workshop Bees and the sword of contestation at the 6th PhilosophyCon organized by the Silesian University, the workshop Balsamic Garden addressed to pharmacy employees, the Balance workshop at Gallery BWA in Katowice, and The creative workshop of virtual touch at Youth Biennial in Belgrade.
She has collaborated with institutions and galleries such as the New Centre for Research & Practice, Foreign Objekt, Temporary Gallery (Cologne), Stiftung Künstlerdorf (Schöppingen), Pilipczuk Gallery (Copenhagen), Hornsey Town Hall Arts Center (London), Christmas Steps Gallery (Bristol), Dumbo Arts Festival (New York), Youth Biennial (Belgrade), Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (Warsaw), Widna Gallery, Bwa Awangarda (Wrocław), Galeria Bielska BWA (Bielsko-Biała), Rondo Sztuki (Katowice), Centre for the Meeting of Cultures (Lublin), Artists’ Colony (Gdańsk,), Silesian Museum (Katowice), BWA Katowice (Katowice) and City Museum (Tychy).