Writing statements has always been my worst nightmare. Because giving my creativity a certain direction is something beyond my definition of it- something that often outruns any plans, ignores preferences, taste or theories. I have asked myself several times- does realising certain agenda not strip art from its mystery? As an artist, am I really obliged to do so?
Nonetheless, in my statement I was trying to look for the essence of my interests. Because would it be relevant if I listed all the areas I am interested in? Like sociology, politics, culture, economy, philosophy? Maybe it would be just easier to say – I am interested in human being?
Regardless of to what extent I am able to plan my practice, the most crucial step for me was finding out who my art I want to be addressed to and what purpose I want it to have.
Very important role in answering this question was seeing an exhibition Late Polishness in Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, which took place last summer. A brief explanation of the project can be found on the Centre’s website:
‘The project Late Polishness is dedicated to the forms which Polish contemporary identity assumes. Acting as the main space for deliberations is the exhibition, which consists of more than a hundred works and projects from dozens of contemporary artists working in the fields of visual arts,cinema, and theatre.’
‘The key to the Late Polishness used in the project is the category of form.How is Polishness experienced today? How is it represented? Behind what images, symbols, figures, and narratives does it hide? The curators of the project have been searching for the answers to these questions in various fields of art, because it is the artists who give form to the collective imagination, and also to the national.’ (http://u-jazdowski.pl/en/programme/wystawy/pozna-polskosc)
The variety of media, aesthetics and ideas was really extensive- it took me good few hours to see everything. It was few hours of surprises, laughter, disgust, delight and tears. In the end, I left the CSW with very mixed feelings- on one hand I simply had fun surrounded by loads of interesting objects, on the other I felt deeply shaken by quite a few artworks ‘hitting’ right in the deepest core of my polishness, my identity, my humanity.
Most of these artworks were primarily conceptual. They were basing on very simple, sometimes even abrupt ideas. The craftsmanship wasn’t playing here the biggest role, which local media saw as an accusation. In my opinion however, the simplicity of these forms was their biggest advantage. This exhibition was operating in unflinching language of codes understandable (consciously or not) for each one of us coming to see it. This experience was far beyond the aesthetic sensation in a traditional sense – it was an intimate experience of seeing myself in the artists eyes, taking a look at my fears, desires, aspirations etc.
That show was just an example of the purpose I would like my works to fulfil. The range of media or even the subjects are secondary to that value I tried to explain. I think this should be the bottom line of my future plans.