Diana Lelonek, Center for the Living Things, 2016–2017, Foto: Maciej Zaniewski
Curator: Monika Szewczyk
The theme of the It Is As You Think It Is exhibition is an attempt to find a new perspective on the incompatibility of our notions about reality with reality itself.
We think of reality as something objective, independent from us, as something that is present, takes place around us, as something in which we participate and try to change – but which generally surpasses us, is above us. At the same time, the fact that we perceive reality subjectively and interpret it means that it is not a coherent, objective value. When we confront our observations between ourselves, we can perceive how different they are. Even when we look at simple, obvious objects, we see them in a personalized way, let alone complex phenomena and processes and our “understanding of the world”. This diversity of perception is fascinating and enriching in and of itself, but it also complicates life and makes it impossible to reach an understanding. Art can be an instrument of communication, but let us accept that it is a very imprecise instrument. When attempting to explain reality, art often makes its picture even more ambiguous.
The works presented at the artists’ exhibition are often not what they seem. Some pretend to be simple objects yet contain complex narratives; others communicate simple messages while depicting complicated processes. Sometimes they are based on philosophical or scientific concepts, other times they are born from simple intuitions – but all of them concern our interpretation of reality and the subtle boundary between reality itself and our imagining of it.
Diana Lelonek transforms the gallery’s space into a laboratory in which she tests various ways in which plants live on the waste of European civilization. The works of Iza Tarasewicz straddle the border between nature and science. The minimalist work of Piotr Łakomy, built out of scrap, creates its own degenerated universe. Gizela Mickiewicz operates under a similar aesthetic. Along with Alicja Bielawska, they both build a constellation of objects, indicating their mutual relationships; these are abstract objects, yet they evoke associations with daily life. Analysis of Emotions and Vexations, a time-lapse film by Wojciech Bąkowski, introduces a certain narrative but remains in the realm of insinuations. Bownik and Witek Orski derealize paintings, exploring daily life in search of the extraordinary.
We wish to turn attention to the social function of art as an open space for discourse about things that are universal. The artists we have selected present a broad spectrum of techniques and methods of artistic presentation – video, paintings, installations that will become clear to viewers regardless of their age, gender, education or social status.
Text: Monika Szewczyk, translated from Polish by Wojciech Gomoliński