Pawel Althamer is a Polish sculptor, video, and installation artist. Often collaborating with other artists, or enlisting large groups to create “reality directed” performances and video works, Althamer has traveled around the world, staging major performative events that range from obviously constructed spectacles to more subtle interventions like Motion Pictures, in which he hired actors to perform everyday acts, such as greeting a friend, in a public square. Althamer is known for his willingness to experiment on himself, and among his best-known works are intimate video portraits that show him interacting with collaborators in altered mental states, including on LSD and mushrooms. His own body is one of his most commonly used materials, and he has taken a longstanding interest in documenting his experience encountering the world, resulting in works which take form in manifestations as diverse as self portraits and short films.
Althamer has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, the Centre Pompidou, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan, and the Vienna Secession, among others. His work has been featured in major international group shows, including the 2013 Venice Biennale, the 2010 Gwangju Biennial, and the 2005 Istanbul Biennial.