Kuba Polaris Summer 2009, Year: 2009 / Medium: Photography / Dimensions: 120 x 95 cm

Photostory: Kuba Bąkowski's "Magnetic Traces" The exhibition at the Galeria Espacio O in Santiago de Chile presents a series of photographic projects created between 2008 and 2020

The exhibition of Kuba Bakowski’s “Magnetic Strokes” has been recently opened at the Galeria Espacio O in Santiago de Chile. The solo show presents a series of photographic projects created between 2008 and 2020. Works that cross not only more than a decade of Kuba’s work but also very diverse geographies, showing us, as Philip K. Dick wrote, that “no journey is long enough”. Actions and explorations in Kuba’s case are a sort of scientific expeditions with artistic purposes. They result in works of exquisite technique and presentation with contents bordering between a scientific documentary and science-fiction without lacking a certain ironic touch. Bakowski’s work, although very varied and constantly evolving, is always and closely linked to the nature of photography. And, being the phenomenon of light one of the foundations of this medium, the exhibition at the Espacio O Gallery is titled “Magnetic Traces”, since its pieces allude to light through photographic observation-intervention from diverse and unusual perspectives. Light traces are sometimes literal, as in the performative actions of the projects “Huta Lighting” and “Intervention 2019. Wroclaw Contemporary Museum”. In them, the lens freezes an ephemeral gesture to record a complete drawing that before our eyes would be almost imperceptible, but which can be immortalized by the camera. These Captures taken in post-industrial empty spaces, challenging our ability to perceive, result in images of unique beauty that seem to have come out of old science fiction stories.

On other occasions, we have to complete this trace ourselves, as when we contemplate the firmament and guess the constellations by joining the stars. Such is the case of “Polaris. Summer 2009”, where the Polar Star (part of a structure of the Ursa Minor constellation) is marked by a hybrid of a man and polar bear in a carefully calculated gesture – somewhat ironic, but at the same time serious and ceremonial – at its exact point in the firmament. Or like in the “Big Dipper” formed by the lights of miners’ headlamps of which combines the mystery of the light of the stars and the reality of human beings working in a subterranean darkness.

We also contemplate the light of the celestial bodies themselves, taken from NASA photographs and accompanied by text messages whose appearance makes us doubt, even for an instant, between reality and fiction. Works of the series “Museum of Earth on 433 Eros” question not only our perception but also the way we interpret the images. Celestial bodies to which we could travel, as we do now by subway or public transport or aeroplane, appear in a futurological dream full of ironic dyes.

There is some irony also in the poster image in which we see the artist transformed into a sort of mad scientist who looks at us defiantly and shows us the light. That is: Kuba shows us the light. And its traces, perceptions, and appearances through multiple mechanisms. Because there is not one light, but many because:

“everything is true… everything that men have ever thought”…

Curator of the exhibition: Inés R. Artola

Exhibition duration: 22 March – 17 April 2021


More info: www.espacioo.com/kuba-bakowski

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