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onone - autoholos
world after the world (1995-1999)

The remaining scenes in Onone take place not in open naure, but in artificial interiers (ir in outer space). In Autoholos which means "he, who is complete unto himself", Alicja Zebrowska creates an angellike being. Autoholos stands on a podium coveredin silver foil, in front of a wall of silver foil. Wrinkels in the foil in the backraund create the impression of a decorative wall. From a slightly lowered point of view, we look frontaly at a strangely removed Onone. S/he resembles an idol. Frozen like a statue, her/his slightly spread arms form a bell, as if s/he was frozen as s/he was about to bring the arms into the classic orantepose. The unmoving gaze stares slightly diagnonally past us and out of the picture into an undefined, empty distance. We are ourselves brought into the orante-pose. This is truly a cultisch idol Autoholos is wrapped in a transparent garment of plastic foil, which magnifies the body form like an aura, bell-like, but spread like wings, angel-like a crown. Framing the face, it is also a halo, a nimbus. The phallic nipples are wrapped in a plastic sheath that awakens associations with a condom. A gigantic male genital stretches snake-like out of the female lap and curves back to the vagina, as if the figure wants to fertilize itself: autoholos.
This image is most definitely playing with the tradition of cult idols, with statues of saints and (swxual, sacral) fetishes. Every worship of the sexus bring it close to sacrality. But perhaps it's the other way around. Perhaps the sacral, to which we devote ourselves with such fervour, is merely re-routed erotic energy. We con't know. The elevation of this androgynous fetish into higher spheres reminds us that all redically self-referential sexuality revcals, in its closed circle of self-sufficiancy. A truly godly form, and that for this very reason, it is considered perverse and pathological, when it enters into the human world. The Autoholos is absolutely untouchable, pure, "Noli me tangere". His aura surrounds him like a body-condom and lets the sexual flows of this Onone circle around themselves. This is a different circulation from the one, which sets the "assimilatio"-body, mashine and nature into a circulation of fluids.
Here, Alicja Zebrowska's aesthetic play with traditional form operates, as it often does, on the border to kitsch. Not without an amused irony, the installations demonstrate that those arcas most important to us - the religious and the erotic - have always cultivated an especially close relationship to kitsch. Alicja Zebrowska nearly always plays a daring game with tastelessness. The outer limts of this game are in danger of becoming desgusting and ridiculous. In this manner, she mixes here citations of the Sublime and the elevated with the grotesque and the theatrical. This method of citation creates a kind of manneristic syncretism, a travesty of sacralized sexus and sexualized sacrality. The aesthetic of travesty protects Alicja Zebrowska's installations from turning into kitsch.

(Excerpt from
A Journey into the Body and Beyond
by H. Bohme)

H. Bohme
Journey into the body. The art of Alicja Zebrowska