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Photo of Live performance Not a Toy

September 2022, Vox Populi Gallery

Artist Bio

Katarina Poljak (they/them) is an award-winning filmmaker and interdisciplinary performance artist, recognized for their impactful contributions to both the film and performance art realms. Their works have been showcased at prominent venues such as The Kimmel Center, Vox Populi Gallery, and the Icebox Project Space, alongside screenings at international film festivals including ARFF Paris, Croatian Fashion Film, Indie Short, and Rethink Dance.

Rooted in a fusion of social critique and technological exploration, Poljak's performance-based films transport audiences to fantastical realms, blending retro futurism, sculptural set-design, and intricate hand-made costumery. Influenced by collaborations with experimental film and performance artist Kathy Rose, Poljak is committed to creating work that navigates the intersection of past and future mass culture, challenging the unspoken boundaries shaping our social lives.

A recipient of a BFA from the University of the Arts, where they studied both Dance and Film, Poljak earned the prestigious Shannon D. Moore major film award for their thesis film in 2019. Intrigued by humanity's trajectory into "posthumanism" and its framing by the idealized human body, their work evokes a sense of surrealist suspense, explores society's fascination with the spectacle of gore, and taps into the visceral nervous system of the grotesque. ​

Poljak's latest film, "Incredible Machine Glass Body," garnered acclaim with selections and wins at various international film festivals in 2020. Currently collaborating as a co-director and producer with documentary filmmaker Mike Attie and scholar-activist Dr. Nathan R. Stenberg, Poljak is working on an untitled feature documentary about Pennhurst State School and Hospital.

In addition to their artistic pursuits, Poljak is an Adjunct Professor at The University of the Arts, School of Film, and an Artist in Residence at Mascher Space Cooperative. In these  positions, they persist in curating interdisciplinary performative work, integrating projection and the body. They also work as a Freelance Production Sound Mixer, Documentary Editor, and Choreographer.  Currently, Poljak is working to bring their newest film, "Source Architecture", to life, contributing further to the evolving landscape of contemporary film and performance.

Source Shoot 2 behind the scenes_edited.

BTS of Source Architecture

August 2023

Education 

2014-2019

The University of the Arts

Awards / Screenings

2018

Philadelphia Women In Film and Television Female Filmmaker  Showcase

The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2019

Shannon D. Moore Major Film Award,  Winner of "Most Exceptional Film"

The University of The Arts

2019

Eco Fashion Film Festival

Thessaly, Greece

2019

Indie Short Fest special mention and Finalist nomination for "Best Costume Design"

Los Angelos, CA

2019

Rethink Dance Film Festival Finalist for "Best Choreography for Film"

Fargo, ND

2020

Croation Fashion Film Festival, Finalist for "Best Emerging Talent"

Debrovnik, Croatia

2020

 Beyond The Curve International Film Festival, Finalist for "Best Woman's Film"

Paris, France

2021

Around International Film Festival Paris Winner of "Best Experimental Film" 

Paris, France.

2022

Come as Your Madness Fashion Show, Crowned the "Muse of Madness"

Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Exhibitions 

2018

"Number 11" Screening

The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2018

"Red Room" Installation part of Tongue and Cheek Artist Showcase

Headlong Theater, Philadelphia PA

2019

"Body: Unknown" Live Performance Installation part of "Dreams and Delusions"

The Painted Bride Theater, Philadelphia PA

2021

"Mountain of One" Live Performance part of  Mascher Cooperative's "Fresh Juice Showcase" 

Headlong Theater, Philadelphia PA

2022

PhillyCam Live for TV performance of "Mountain of One"

Philadelphia, PA

2022

"Not a Toy" Live Performance part of  "Come As Your Madness Fashion Show and Masquerade Ball"

Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2022

"Not a Toy" Encore Live Performance part of "Vox Populi's Boo Bash"

Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2023

"Blacklisted" Live Performance 

Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia PA

Upcoming

2021- ongoing

"SOURCE ARCHITECTURE" Short film 

Writer/ Director/ Editor

2022- ongoing

Untitled Feature Documentary

Co-Director / Producer

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