Art channel


Happy Family

Karolina Balcer, “Happy Family Project”, still from the video

Happy Family is a family project. The driving force behind it was the situation in which my brother found himself. For reasons incomprehensible to us at the time, he would be homeless for periods. Such extreme circumstances forced us to reflect on the reasons behind this problem.

Our family, just like many other families, faced difficulties such as mental health issues, addiction, and social exclusion. As it turns out, mental health remains one of the deepest taboos, and is met with a lot of social stigmas.

Happy Family project is an attempt to discuss and examine social issues such as mental health and homelessness. I attempt to approach these sensitive and important topics with a distance, which allows me to break stereotypes. Mindful collaboration with the family is an additional and significant aspect of this type of project, which allows me to preserve the real context.

The results of my work are published on a specially created website:

With special thanks to Iwona Ogrodzka and Mateusz Panek for their help in making of the video.

Karolina Balcer was born in 1988 in Toruń. She lives and works in Warsaw. Balcer is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław (2014) and inter-faculty doctoral studies at the same university (2017). She is a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2020), and participated in artistic residencies such as Kukturkontakt in Vienna (2018). The themes of her work often determine the media she employs, including painting, video, installations in public space, and more recently, tufting and crocheting.

Her projects typically feature the active involvement of her family members. In the years 2015-2019, she co-created the Wykwit gallery. In the years 2017-2020, she was a member of the Wykwitex artistic collective. Since 2019, together with Iwona Ogrodzka, she has been co-creating the nomadic Why Quit initiative. She is currently working on a family project on mental health issues.


Stay tuned with us – Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media: