Norman Leto

Born 1980, Bochnia
Lives and works in Warsaw

Norman Leto's films transcend the boundaries of traditional cinema and the broad notion of video art. They find their place somewhere on the border of these two disciplines. The artist uses specific methods of film making that are the result of many sensitivities and languages, a collage of various methods of expression and narrative models. His films can be found in the forms of both few-minute long etudes, as well as full-length films. Here, a traditional storyline meets with narration taken straight from popular educational films, conventional camera shots run side by side with computer generated simulations, and the voice of a narrator with subtitles co-exist with long musical sequences.

The world built by Norman Leto is breathtaking: momentous, pious, and precisely executed. Leto not only designed each of the various landscapes and buildings, but also breathed life into them: he saturated this environment with a specific, raw atmosphere that is nearly tangible. The sterile, impersonal interiors become an exceptional backdrop for the narration spun by the main character: an utterly intelligent megalomaniac who attacks all social norms followed by the masses, however, he is an emotionally immature man, damaged by education. Through subsequent films – led by the full-length film, Sailor – we come to know him all too well. His aggressive monologues are completely refined and difficult to stomach. They take us to the the areas of education where “political correctness” does not exist.

Leto's invented reality is composed of images and spaces of remarkable artistic beauty. Likewise, the film's narrative is plotted with true literary bravado. Literature is a parallel area of interest for the artist. These elements of the artist's work are most deeply expressed in his prosaic debut: a partially autobiographical book, Sailor, whose tale links with the reality of the aforementioned film of the same title. As a result, the artist's individual works and involvement in other forms of artistic media merge to create superior, multilayered structures.

Selected exhibitions

Sailor, Galeria Kameralna, Słupsk, 2011
Sailor Sailor, Galeria Kolonie/Kolonie Gallery, Warsaw, 2010
Two Video Recordings and Four Screenshots Made in a VR Environment, Galeria Arsenał, Białystok, 2009
Buttes Monteaux 3, National Museum in Kraków, 2009
Half of a Set of Twins for Sale, Galeria Arsenał, Poznań, 2008
Buttes Monteaux 1, Nova Gallery, Kraków, 2007
The Negative Aspects of Excessive Freedom at 26 Years of Age, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2007

Film Festivals:
21. Film Festival Cottbus, Cottbus, 2011 [DE]
18th European Film Festival Palić, Palić, 2011 [SRB]
22nd International Festival of Documentary FIDMarseille, Marseille, 2011 [FR]
17th Bradford International Film Festival, Bradford, 2011 [GB]
10th Era New Horizons IFF, Wrocław, 2010

Czerwona poprzeczka [Red Ledge], Warsaw, 2012
3. Athens Biennale, Athens, 2011 [GR]
J // K // M // W - JEREWAN // KISCHINAU // MINSK // WARSCHAU, Polnisches Institut Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 2011 [DE]
The MOCAK Collection, MOCAK, Kraków, 2011
Be careful because it will remain later very strong in you (curated by_2011), Galerie Steinek, Vien, 2011 [A]
MIR, Arsenał Gallery, Białystok, 2011
un(Polish), Petra Vankova Gallery, Berlin, 2011 [DE]
Hi, Galeria Stereo, Poznań, 2011
Every Step Is Moving Me Up, Galeria Stereo, Poznań, 2010
A Part of No-Part: Parallelisms Between Then and Now, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, 2010 [USA]
Collections. The International Collection of the Center for Contemporary Art, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2009
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Gare Saint-Sauveur, Lille, 2009 [FR]
Aesthetics of Violence, Museum of Art in Haifa, 2009 [IL]
Establishment, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2008
Perfect Summer, Gallery Vertexlist, New York, 2008 [USA]
Biennale of New Talents in the European Art Scene, Paris, 2007 [FR]